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10/7/2009
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Motorola Won't Support Windows Mobile 6.5

The company will focus on supporting Android and wait until the next version of Windows Mobile hits.

Motorola Unveils Android 'Cliq'
(click image for larger view)
Motorola's Android Cliq
Motorola is not interested in creating smartphones that use the recently released Windows Mobile 6.5, according to comments from executives during a roundtable discussion.

The world's fourth-largest handset maker had previously said it would be using Windows Mobile for its upper-tier enterprise smartphones, but Christy Wyatt, Motorola's VP of software platform, said there are no plans to support the current generation of Microsoft's mobile operating system. Wyatt indicated the company would wait for Windows Mobile 7, which is expected to be a highly retooled version of the OS and should launch in late 2010.

It appears that Motorola will be placing a large bet on the Google-based Android operating system, and the company is in the middle of its MotoDev Summit that is focusing on making it easier and faster for developers to create programs for the company's Android phones. With handset makers like Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and others expected to produce smartphones with the Google-backed OS, Motorola said its deep customization of Android will help it stand out from the crowd.

One example of this customization is the MotoBlur feature that was rolled out with the Android-powered Cliq handset. This is an embedded service within Motorola's Android build that integrates a user's contacts, photos, calendars, and other information from various sources like Facebook, Twitter, corporate e-mail accounts, and Gmail. The data will live on a Motorola server, and it will provide real-time updates via widgets on the user's home screen.

Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said it will have a second Android phone by the end of the year, and many expect it to land on Verizon Wireless. Jha also said the company would eventually have "multiple tens of products" running the Linux-based OS, and these devices will likely be low-cost handsets catering to the "prosumer" market.

The move is a slight blow for Microsoft, as Windows Mobile 6.5 has already been met with tepid reviews despite its new features. But Microsoft still has plenty of support from handset makers, as the company expects more than 30 Windows Mobile 6.5 devices to be released by the end of the year from the likes of HTC, Samsung, LG Electronics, Toshiba, and others.


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