Windows Mobile 7 delay possible

Microsoft has already struggled to get Windows Mobile 7 available to consumers, but the extended delay may be even longer than previously expected, as the company’s mobile OS struggles continue.

In early October, Microsoft released Windows Mobile 6.5, but the OS was meant to be a temporary fix — but it may have to last longer than initially expected.  Although the OS does offer a number of upgrades over previous versions, it still isn’t capable of competing with rival smartphone software, which will hurt Microsoft.

However, Microsoft remains committed to releasing the OS at some point in 2010.

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“[Windows Mobile 7] has been put back until late next year but it is definitely coming,” said Phil Moore, Microsoft Mobility director in the U.K., during a technology summit.  “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.”

Previously, Microsoft remained relatively quiet about when Windows Mobile 7 will be released, but as more time passes, the more doubtful analysts and consumers are.  I also believe Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot — I understand the need to take time and develop an appealing product — but it can’t wait until the end of 2010 to push out Windows Mobile 7.

Once known as a vibrant mobile OS, Windows Mobile is struggling at a time when RIM, Apple, Google, and other software makers create mobile platforms that offer customization and features phone owners crave.  Furthermore, the iPhone and RIM BlackBerry smartphones continue to sell well, with even more consumers switching from regular phones to robust smartphones.

As noted in a previous post, manufacturers such as HTC are choosing Android over Windows Mobile, and that trend is spreading to other phone manufacturers — especially if Microsoft is unable to release Windows mobile 7 soon.  Motorola also publicly noted the significance of Android, and plans to release a variety of Android-powered phones in the future.