Windows Mobile 7 coming next month--or delayed to 2011?

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Speculation continues to mount on the status of Microsoft's long-promised Windows Mobile 7 operating system--while some sources report the software giant will formally announce the revamped OS during February's Mobile World Congress 2010 event in Barcelona, others indicate it is now delayed until 2011. Citing comments made by Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division president Robbie Bach, MobileGuerilla.com reports WinMo 7 is scheduled to premiere next month: Asked about the OS during last week's 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, Bach said "I have had the pleasure to look at it and play with it, and I'm confident that people will look at it as differentiated, as something that sets the bar forward--not in an evolutionary way, but something that feels, looks, acts, and performs as something completely different." Bach added "We're going to have new things we'll talk about at Mobile World Congress," but did not go into specific details.

However, Bright Side of News reports Microsoft will not formally unveil Windows Mobile 7 until 2011, citing information from sources including Microsoft, Lenovo, Qualcomm, TI, Nokia, Nvidia and HTC. As a result, many Microsoft partners are said to be abandoning the Windows Mobile platform in favor of Google's rival Android operating system.

During last month's Connect! technology summit in London, Microsoft UK head of mobility Phil Moore stated Windows Mobile 7 had been pushed back to late 2010. "It is definitely coming," Moore added. "You're going to see a lot more on Windows Mobile 7. Giving the enterprise users and consumers what they want will be part of Windows Mobile 7. You'll get flexibility on a much easier touch UI." Speaking in October 2009 at a private breakfast in Boston, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the company understands it must make significant strides with Windows Mobile 7, adding "We know we have to kill on that one."

For more on the Windows Mobile 7 speculation:
- read this PCWorld article