Mobile World Congress is kicking off on 15 February and with the start date getting closer and closer the rumors of announcements is starting to kick into high gear. Rachel wrote last week that it looks like Windows Mobile 7 may be shown off and announced at MWC. Microsoft still hasn't issued any public announcement that there is such a thing as Windows Mobile/Phone 7, but Steve Ballmer, other Microsoft officials, and partner representatives have all said it will be coming at the end of 2010 so there is no doubt it is real and being worked on. It was way back in 2007 when Mary Jo talked about Windows Mobile 7 so I have to really question if Microsoft can actually deliver this operating system by the end of 2010 and I will be keeping a close eye on MWC announcements.
There have been lots of rumors floating around about what the OS contains and these latest posts over on PPCGeeks and MobileTechWorld have long lists of possible features and service integration. I have to say that some are a bit disturbing to me. One that really shocks me in the list is the lack of multi-tasking. Really Microsoft? Everyone harps on Apple because the iPhone doesn't support this and all indications are that iPhone OS 4 will add it. Microsoft has always supported multi-tasking in its mobile operating system and I would be shocked if they took a step back and removed this capability. It is also interesting to see the part about other interfaces not being supported. One thing that I really like about Windows Mobile is the ability to customize it to your heart's content and if this is true then no more HTC Sense, Spb Mobile Shell, Samsung TouchWIZ, etc. Then again, if the OS is excellent then maybe none of these are necessary.
I do like the rumored Zune support and Zune taking over ActiveSync and WMDC. I don't understand the Xbox support since it doesn't seem to include gaming and just a way to check on your friends status, but maybe that will appeal to real gamers.
I am sure we will continue to see lots of rumors around Windows Mobile/Phone 7 and hopefully when we do see an announcement it shows that Microsoft is still interested in the mobile phone space.
It was pretty funny to read the line, "MS are actually ahead of schedule which will surprise the analysts / journalists" since the OS is at two years behind what Mary Jo talked about in 2007.