The only details we really have about Windows Mobile 7 were spilled by a Microsoft employee in January of this year. That person risked a lot by publishing an epic tome of documents about the new version of Windows Mobile 7. Those documents noted that WinMo7 would be in a final form by late 2008 or early 2009. This coincides with what Microsoft's partners had been told.
Microsoft, for its part, has said very little about the next generation of Windows Mobile. The only public statement we know of came from Steve Ballmer, who said, "The work we're doing on Windows Mobile 7, which is the next major release of Windows Mobile, not just in the Windows Mobile team, but across Windows Mobile, in Silverlight, the development platform, the e-mail, the back-end, I think you'll continue to see that as an area of major excitement and innovation for the company as we move forward."
That's is. That's all we have from Microsoft.
When this week's story broke, PC Magazine went straight to Microsoft about the matter, and even posted the article to Mobius' discussion boards. (Mobius is an invitation-only community with roughly 100+ members now of the world's most influential technology pundits and online writers/bloggers). The negative backlash from Mobius was immediate.
What's more interesting is the response PC Magazine received from Microsoft. Sascha Segan wrote, "I asked Microsoft group product manager Scott Rockfeld about the issue and he responded by denying the product exists. Not just saying that there's no due date, which would be perfectly understandable. He tried to avoid acknowledging the existence of a so-called Windows Mobile 7 entirely."
Mr. Rockfeld and Mr. Ballmer obviously don't talk to one another, or Mr. Rockfeld doesn't check to see what the CEO of his company might be saying about unannounced products.
Rockfeld went on to say that Microsoft never "announced anything about any future versions of our OS, nor have we said anything about timing."
The truth of the matter is, Microsoft needs to do something with its mobile platform, and it needs to do it soon. June 2009 won't be soon enough.