The Windows Mobile team is nearly as reticent as the Windows client team to talk futures. Thanks to a variety of leaks over the past year-plus, however, Microsoft watchers had come to expect the Windows Mobile "Photon" release -- the successor to Windows Mobile "Crosbow" (6.0) -- to hit in late 2007/early 2008.
But now it looks like there will be an update to Windows Mobile 6.0 -- call it WM 6.1 or what you will -- that will hit in early 2008. This is not Photon and/or Windows Mobile 7.0. (I am not 100 percent sure Photon ever was supposed to be Windows Mobile 7.0, but who knows....)
Engadget said Microsoft is briefing folks behind closed doors this week about the refresh which will go to handset vendors early next year. Due to non-disclosure restrictions, Engadget wasn't allowe to say much, in terms of features that will be part of the new release. Engadget said of the new version:
"Our first impressions: very slick, and has a lot of features that just about any WinMo user will agree is way overdue. In other words, we're expecting users will be stoked -- no doubt about it. Expect specific details on features and the like in the near future, we wouldn't be surprised to hear more about it CES."
PocketInfo.NL reported earlier this year that Windows Mobile 6.1 would be introduced at the 3GSM conference, with newe devices shipping with the update starting in May 2008. According to PocketInfo.NL:
"The new (Windows Mobile 6.1) interface will be based on the same principle as Windows Media Centre, with a vertically scrolling list and horizontal options.... There will apparently be further improvements in WIFI functionality (squirting?) and bluetooth pairing, and improvements in Exchange 2007 integration."
Anyone out there testing the soon-to-be-unveiled Windows Mobile 6.0 update?
Update: On a related note, Microsoft has made available version 6.1 of its Office Mobile suite for Windows Mobile devices. The new version allows users to read Office Open XML (OOXML) files, something Windows Mobile 6.0 users were unable to do until now.