08:31 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Core System Testing: How to Achieve Success
Oct 06, 2016
Property and Casualty Insurers have been investing in modernizing their core systems to provide fl ...Read More>>

Windows Mobile 6.5 May Launch Not Likely

Last week, there was a ton of news that Windows Mobile 6.5 would launch May 11. This came from an announcement on the Windows Mobile blog. It seems though that the word "launch" wasn't the right word, and there won't be a May 2009 lau

Last week, there was a ton of news that Windows Mobile 6.5 would launch May 11. This came from an announcement on the Windows Mobile blog. It seems though that the word "launch" wasn't the right word, and there won't be a May 2009 launch for the anxiously awaited mobile platform.The original quote is as follows:

Stephanie Ferguson, GM of Business Experiences at Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business is going to deliver the kick off launch presentation of Windows Mobile 6.5 on Monday, May 11th at 1:00PM - 2:15PM. This Tech Ed 2009 session focuses on one of the biggest launches in the history of Windows Mobile - Windows Mobile 6.5. It is targeted at both IT Professionals and Developers, with a cool demo and an outline of great stuff to come.

The Tech Herald did a more detailed analysis of what the post actually meant, keying on the words "demo" and "outline." It seems that The Tech Herald nailed it as the blog from Microsoft has been edited to remove the word launch.

I was very skeptical when I saw all of the posts about the May launch given the mobile OS just entered the beta phase in February. You just don't rush out an OS that quickly. If nothing else, Microsoft needs to give the carrier and hardware manufacturers more time to play with the beta to give feedback on what does and doesn't work with their hardware or networks.

The best guess on the release is still sometime late this year, hopefully in the third quarter. That would give the carriers the extra month or two necessary to get final builds on their devices and polish up their own drivers, network stacks and UI branding. If that happens, then we could see devices by November, the start of the Christmas season.

Microsoft cannot get this OS out too soon. Windows Mobile 6.1 is too similar to 6.0 and even 5.0 from the user's perspective, and 5.0 was released in 2005. In that time, we've seen Apple launch the iPhone and will be up to 3.0 by the time 6.5 launches. The Palm Pre with the new Palm WebOS will have also launched and been on the market for a few months by then. Additionally, every other OS will have its own company sponsored application store, a trend started by Apple in 2008 when the iPhone 2.0 was released. In a perplexing move, Microsoft will not allow users of WinMo 5.0, 6.0 and 6.1 to make use of the app store. Apple felt the app store was worth so much to the platform, they ensured that the first generation iPhones could make use of it with the 2.0 software upgrade. Microsoft would need to do far less to make use of their app store - just write the program to access the store, keep track of user's purchases and look for updates periodically. Instead, they will start with a market of no one until 6.5 devices start to sell.

So, for those of you excited by the May launch date, you'll just have to cool your heels a few months more.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.