The unveiling of Windows Phone 7 this week left current Windows Mobile phone owners wondering what would happen once the new version hits the market. Microsoft has revealed that Windows Mobile 6.5 will be rebranded as Windows Phone Classic, and coexist alongside the new version.


Microsoft shook things up in the smartphone space by finally unveiling Windows Phone 7 to the geekerati in Barcelona. The updated look for the next version of the phone OS formerly known as Windows Mobile is refreshing, and brings the platform into the new decade with style. What was  unclear was what Microsoft intends to do with the existing version of Windows Mobile, 6.5.x, and many are asking that very question. The answer from Microsoft is that WinMo 6.5 will continue to be supported, and will coexist alongside the new Windows Phone 7. In fact, once WP7 is available late this year, Windows Mobile 6.5 will be christened Windows Phone Classic.

It is great that Windows Mobile will not be abandoned, especially since 6.5 (and 6.5.3) have not been out very long. Phone owners and handset makers alike will be happy to see investments in current handsets not cast aside by the new version. It is not yet clear exactly what Microsoft might have planned for Windows Phone Classic once Windows Phone 7 hits the market. I also wonder what older versions of Windows Mobile will be called in the future. Windows Phone Ultra-Classic? Every time I say Windows Phone Classic, I feel that the new OS should be called New Windows Phone. Coke, anyone?

Image courtesy Istartedsomething

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  1. Windows Phone NT ;) (NT was originally new technology, not network technology as is often assumed.)

  2. I think everybody now realizes that Windows Mobile is dead.

    Microsoft said it will “support” it for a bit longer, but what that entails remains ambiguous. There won’t be any major updates for it (maybe one or two lipstick / cosmetic updates between now and when WP7S is released), and no updates at all after that.

    You can be sure that software developers will be planning to port their apps away from Windows Mobile. What platform they go to is another question, but I think it would be unlikely they go to WP7S at this stage, without knowing how it fares in the market.

    1. I’d say one cosmetic update at the most. The rest of the cosmetic updates for WM will be via HTC Sense, now Microsoft’s unwanted love child.

  3. This is like the PlaysForSure servers staying up for a few months or years while Microsoft moves off in an entirely different direction.

    “Hey, we’ll have the odd patches for you while you and your Windows Mobile 6.x phones fade into oblivion.”

  4. Fresno DUI Lawyer Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    The iPhone awesome right now but it is good to see the additional competition

    1. Yep. It’s just like saying “please make your phone awesome so the phone I REALLY want to buy has to be even more awesome to stay ‘the best’.”

  5. GOODTHINGS2LIFE->It should be called Windows Phone OT [for old technology]

    1. Seriously, is anybody even going to buy a WinMo 6.x phone now? Except a few corporate IT departments locked into the platform due to a shortsighted procurement decision?

      I’ll bet sales of the existing models all but come to a complete halt, at least until the first “Windows Phone 7 Series” start shipping at the end of the year.

  6. And they copy that also! LOL

  7. classic? there’s nothing “classic” about WinMo.

    1. classic |ˈklasik|
      judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind


  8. Microsoft pulls a Palm Pre… But with the Pre, at least Palm only killed sales of its own existing products for a few quarters. Microsoft has killed sales of any remaining Windows Mobile partners’ products. Nice move. It will be even worse, if this “Holidays 2010″ release is delayed.

    I suppose the good news is that there weren’t very many WinMo phones left to kill.

    1. This is absurd! Give Microsoft a break people counted them out and they proved they can pull it out the bag! hats off to them.

      1. “Proved”!? That’s a good one! It’s not due until the holidays, and that still doesn’t “prove” anything — because it is MS doing the announcing!

        MS are known for vaporware announcements that freeze people from buying competing products. That is all they have proven, repeatedly. Apple doesn’t say a word about their products (iPad, iPhone OS4, etc.), and yet everyone roundly criticizes the unannounced products with unannounced features for what they are allegedly missing. But Apple delivers what they say (or more) when they say they will deliver it.

        We will wait and see (well, I won’t be) if there is a magic bag that MS is actually pulling something out of, or if the bag should be placed over their heads.

      2. They have proved they can come up with nice animated concept videos. Now they have the better part of a year to try and make it work (I heard they announced that copy and paste weren’t important). Where’s that tablet thingy that opens like a book?

  9. I read on another site this morning that the windows phone classic might be destined to be the enterprise-version – with continued support for Exchange sync and other enterprise-apps. The new WinPhone7 seems to be much more consumer centric – and could perhaps drop Exchange sync in favor of some sort of Microsoft cloud based on-demand email.

  10. Why go with the whole Windows thing ? why not just call it something like Microsoft Live Phone – I just dont see why it is called windows ?

    1. I like!

      Then classic could be called “Microsoft Dead Phone”!!!

      1. Landscaper in Essex Mark Tuesday, March 9, 2010

        Yeah windows dead phone, that’s funny !

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