ZDNet reports that Windows Mobile 6 is on the way. We most likely won’t see devices using the new OS until late this year.
ZDNet writes, “Because it uses the same core–Windows CE 5–the new mobile operating system is expected to work with nearly all the existing Windows Mobile 5 applications.” That’s of course good news for everyone, though we’ll see if they can pull it off.
One of the things we’ve all come to know and love about Microsoft is their constant rebranding of these devices. Bless their hearts, they do not disappoint: “Microsoft has changed the names of the two types this go-around. Pocket PC Phone Edition, for touch screens, becomes Windows Mobile Professional, while Smartphone edition, for non touch screens, becomes Windows Mobile Standard. A third version, Windows Mobile Classic, is designed for PDAs without phone capabilities….” Got it? Your Pocket PC is now running Windows Mobile Classic, unless it also has a phone transceiver, then it’s Windows Mobile Professional. Except when the phone doesn’t have a touchscreen, then it’s Windows Mobile Standard. I guarantee you we’ll see devices with phones running the Windows Mobile Classic OS, and someone will come out with a touch-screen phone that runs Windows Mobile Standard.
Finally, a tempting little nugget for the programmers: “In the longer term, Microsoft will still try to unify its historically separate Pocket PC and Smartphone code bases. The next version of Windows Mobile, expected to be based on Windows CE 6, aims to create a common code base, potentially simplifying the process for application developers.” You can tell you’re reading a professional tech journalist when they use “Microsoft”, “Windows Mobile” and “simplifying the process for application developers” in the same sentence.