There has never been any official Microsoft announcement or release date for Windows Mobile 7, but much has been leaked about this future mobile operating system. Motorola was recently talking about its future mobile strategy and let slip that a Windows Mobile 6.5 update should be coming prior to Windows Mobile 7.
As stated by Sanjay Jha, co-chief executive of Motorola and chief executive of mobile devices:
Windows Mobile 6 has not delivered the experience that I think Apple has been able to deliver, but as you look at the plan that is Windows Mobile 7 and even 6.5, I think there are significant new added features which will help the platform.
I wrote yesterday about how I find Windows Mobile 6.1 on my Treo Pro to be a perfectly capable and fully functional OS that may not have all the UI enhancements on the iPhone, but it is stable and relevant in today's smartphone world. I haven't seen anything about Windows Mobile 6.5 before, but it makes sense that there would be another update before something like Windows Mobile 7 since that is the way Windows Mobile upgrades have come at us in the past. I do hope that Internet Explorer Mobile 6 comes out before this 6.5 update and am quite curious about what other features Microsoft will throw into an update. The good thing about most of these point updates is that existing hardware can generally be updated.
Sometimes we see some of the enhancements made by ODMs and carriers implemented in these updates. For example, the T-Mobile Shadow (see my review) had a unique Home screen UI that later appeared very similar to what was seen in the Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade to Standard (non-touch screen) devices. Maybe we'll see some of the great UI enhancements that HTC and Samsung have made in their devices as part of WM 6.5.