Windows Mobile: What does the future hold?

Ari Robbins
Contributing Editor from  Atlanta, GA
| Published: March 2, 2010

With all the news surrounding the future release of Windows Phone 7 Series, people are beginning to wonder what will happen to their current Windows Mobile phones in the wake of WP7S's release.  The big questions are: "Is my phone capable of being upgraded to the new operating system?" and "Will my phone still be supported?"

The answer to the first question is yes and no.  Yes, if your current phone meets the VERY specific requirements that Microsoft has in place for WP7S, your phone will be eligible for an update, however, ultimately it will be left up to Microsoft's hardware partners.  On the other hand, no, there is not a WinMo phone in existence (based on the somewhat limited knowledge we have of the requirements) that meets all of the necessary criteria to be called a WP7S phone.  The HTC HD2 is probably the closest you'll come to an eligible device, however, one reason why it will never see the WP7S OS is the fact that it has five buttons instead of the dedicated three Microsoft requires.

According to Natasha Kwan, Microsoft’s General Manager for Mobile Communications Business in the Asia-Pacific market, “Because we have very specific requirements for Windows Phone 7 Series the current phones we have right now will not be upgradable.”  Kwan also said of the HTC HD2 that it "doesn't qualify because it doesn't have the three buttons."

To answer the second question (Will my phone still be supported?), the answer is a definitive yes.  Microsoft intends to upgrade the current 6.5 OS to 6.5.3, and give it the new name Windows Phone Classic.  “We think there are people who will want 6.5, and the 6.x platform has a lot of enterprise and line of business apps,” said Kwan.  She also mentioned that the upgrade from 6.5 to 6.5.3 "will enhance the experience for 6.5 users."

So there you have it, a brief glimpse into the future of Windows Mobile or Windows Phone Classic, if you prefer.  What does the future hold for you?