Expected to be unveiled in February, Windows Mobile 7 is certainly the most anticipated announcement heading into Mobile World Congress. For anyone unfamiliar, MWC is the largest exhibition for the mobile industry much like CES is to electronics. Although we expect to hear more mid-February, here’s a taste of the latest rumors regarding Windows Mobile 7.
Headed in a different direction than previous versions of Windows Mobile, 7 is expected to span only one screen size, akin to the iPhone. In a likely attempt to improve the user experience, Microsoft will have a hand in hardware specifications to which manufacturers like HTC and Samsung will adhere. Devices that do not match up with the minimum specifications will not be loaded with Windows Mobile 7. As expected, Windows Mobile 7 devices will be geared towards business users.
MobileCrunch reports the UI in Windows Mobile 7 will mirror that of last year’s Zune HD. The report goes on to say there will be no background applications, although it will include a notification implementation similar to Apple’s. In a very non-Microsoft like move, 7 will reportedly have no customization at all.
The worst news comes for developers whose applications built for versions of Windows Mobile 6 will not be compatible, requiring a rewrite to run along Windows Mobile 7. Applications will be distributed through Microsoft’s own app store with an easy approval process. Microsoft is taking steps to create a more cohesive product ecosystem and Windows Mobile 7 will sport some Xbox Live features, creating a more seamless experience.
As Windows Mobile has fallen in both marketshare and mindshare to many of its competitors, it’s imperative that Microsoft nails the Windows Mobile reincarnation. Stay tuned for more as MWC draws near. Are there any features you’d like to see added to 7? Share your thoughts in the comments.