Should I be snarky about this or just report the facts? It's Friday, let's be snarky: From the "Tell us something we don't know" file, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft will launch Windows Mobile 7 next Monday at Mobile World Congress. Well,
To be fair, the WSJ's audience is not made up entirely of geeks and phone nerds who know about things months before they happen. So WSJ's report/confirmation is pretty big news in the mainstream business world. The report confirms what everyone's been saying thus far about WinMo7, namely that WM7 will sport a Zune HD-like UI and that the new OS is not "Project Pink" (the Sidekick-replacement which will launch at a later date).
But the report also mentions that Microsoft is aiming to narrow Windows Mobile's aim with this new version, tightening up the possible hardware variations that will be built around WM7, and increasing manufacturers' focus on hardware/software integration. Given the success that Apple and Palm have had with small smartphone lines that integrate hardware and software, and HTC, LG, and Samsung's success customizing WinMo 6 to suit various hardware designs, I can't say that I blame Ballmer & Co. for wanting to tighten up the Windows Phone experience going forward.
All shall be revealed Monday morning Barcelona time. Check back early and often for our on-the-ground coverage.