Microsoft Refuses To Confirm ‘Windows Phone Classic’ Rumour

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Despite it being mentioned in a blog interview, Microsoft has refused to confirm rumours that Windows Mobile 6.x will be rebranded as Windows Phone Classic

Microsoft has come over all coy after it refused to confirm rumours that Windows Mobile 6.x will be rebranded as Windows Phone Classic.

The rumours have continued despite questions from the online community over the backward compatibility of existing Windows Mobile apps with its new Windows Phone 7 Series.

On 16 February, Long Zheng wrote on his Istartedsomething blog that Windows Mobile 6.5, launched in October 2009 and designed to slow Microsoft’s long decline in the smartphone OS arena, “will be rebranded as Windows Phones Classic, and presumably the devices as Windows Phones Classic Series.” Zheng wrote that he learned of the rebranding during an interview with Microsoft representatives.

Despite Microsoft supposedly confirming the information with Zheng, the company refused repeated queries by eWEEK concerning the shift. “Microsoft has nothing to announce regarding any rebranding of Windows Mobile 6.x,” read a 18 February statement from a Microsoft spokesperson.

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer indicated during the 15 February rollout of the Windows Phone 7 Series that Windows Mobile 6.5 would continue to be supported in tandem. However, in the days subsequent to the announcement, developers have begun to raise concerns over whether Mobile 6.5 applications will be supported on the new smartphone operating system. That question will likely have to largely remain conjecture until March, when Microsoft is expected to roll out further details about Windows Phone 7 Series at its MIX 10 conference.

On 18 February, the WMPoweruser blog posted what it purported to be leaked Windows Phone 7 development documents, which indicated that the Windows Phone 7 Series software is built on Silverlight, XNA and the .NET compact framework.

But any chasm between Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7 devices and software could be too far to leap for some developers, according to analysts.

“The change will not endear Microsoft to its existing base of corporate users who will have to redesign and redeploy their apps if they are to utilise this new platform,” Jack Gold, an analyst with J. Gold Associates, wrote in a 15 February research note. “We don’t think Microsoft can count on many enterprises making such a transition/upgrade, and most organisations will likely stay with older WinMo versions (especially those using ruggedised devices, e.g., Symbol, or those with apps that can’t be easily transported.”


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