In my HTC HD2 announcement post from a couple of days ago I mentioned that I would probably not buy the device because Windows Phone 7 Series devices would be rolling out 6-8 months later. I just read over on istartedsomething that Windows Mobile 6.5 will co-exist with Windows Phone 7 for some time and be rebranded as Windows Phone Classic. You may recall that Microsoft had Pocket PC Classic devices at one time too so the naming is not unexpected.
While I do believe a clean cut needs to be made to move forward with their innovative Windows Phone 7 Series devices, it makes some sense to continue to support 6.5.x devices for a while. Enterprise users may not jump all over the latest and greatest right away (similar to their behavior in the desktop OS area too) and may prefer to stick with familiar Windows Mobile devices. There are also thousands of applications for the current Windows Mobile OS and many are vital to the way people work and there is still a lot of unknowns when it comes to applications in WP7. As I have said before I find Windows Mobile to be a viable smartphone choice that offers the BEST Exchange experience out there. HTC does some amazing things with 6.5.x so these devices are still quite attractive. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft brands and promotes the Classic Series.
The HD2 is a fantastic piece of hardware and now that I know Microsoft will not totally abandon the OS, I am pretty sure I will be picking one up when T-Mobile releases it. I should be able to easily get a good year out of it, which is a long time for me and a smartphone.