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Flash 10.1 beta coming to Windows Mobile 6.5 phones by year-end

Adobe officials said a public developer beta of the browser-based runtime of Flash 10.1 is expected to be available for Windows Mobile 6.5 -- as well as Palm's WebOs and Windows, Mac OS and Linux -- before the end of the year

On October 5, Adobe did what Microsoft's own Silverlight team still has yet to do: Pin a date on when it will bring its ad/video-display plug-in to Windows Mobile.

Adobe officials said a public developer beta of the browser-based runtime of Flash 10.1 is expected to be available for Windows Mobile -- as well as Palm's WebOs and Windows, Mac OS and Linux -- before the end of the year. A developer's beta for Google's Android and the Symbian OS are expected to be available in early 2010. The final version of Flash 10.1 should be out for Windows Mobile in the first half of 2010, according to Adobe's latest time table.

Adobe's press release didn't mention which version(s) of Windows Mobile will be getting full-fledged Flash. PCMag.com said it will be Windows Mobile 6.5, which Microsoft is rolling out officially with its phone-maker and carrier partners tomorrow, October 6. "Lower-tier" devices, meaning older Windows Mobile phones, will be Flash-enabled but not run full-fledged Flash, PCMag.com added.

Adobe announced its intentions to bring Flash to ARM-based phones a year ago, in November 2008, with the first devices supporting it available in mid-2009.

I'm betting we'll get dates and details from Microsoft about exactly when Silverlight will be coming to Windows Mobile (and possibly other non-Windows-Mobile OS phones) in the next day or so, just in time for the Windows Mobile 6.5 launch. Will Microsoft be making the already-shipping Silverlight 3 on these devices, or will developers and users have to wait for Silverlight 4, which so far, doesn't have a public release date? Guess we'll find out soon.

MIcrosoft recently released to manufacturing a new version of Windows Embedded CE, which is the core platform upon which Windows Mobile phones are based, that includes Silverlight support. But officials said availability of that release (Windows Embedded CE6.0 R3) has no bearing on when Microsoft will bring Silverlight support to WIndows Mobile.

Microsoft also recently announced it is porting Silverlight to Moblin-Linux-based mobile devices. That port will be available by early 2010, according to Microsoft.

Update (October 6): I was wrong. Microsoft doesn't have an update, re: Silverlight's availability on Windows Mobile, to share today. Company officials said that Microsoft isn't going to support Silverlight on Windows Mobile 6.5, which launches today on new phones. The official line is users will get Silverlight on Windows Mobile 7.  Windows Mobile 7 phones aren't currently expected to debut before the end of 2010. I asked if Microsoft might make it available on WM phones before WM 7 and was told no comment.

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