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Sep 23, 2008

Windows Mobile 7 release delayed

Windows Mobile 7 release delayed

Microsoft has informed some of its partners that it has had to delay Windows Mobile 7, a much anticipated update to its cell phone operating system.

Although Microsoft has not publicly said when to expect Windows Mobile 7, partners who had expected to have a final release in their hands by early next year have been told now that it won't be ready until the second half of next year, sources told CNET News.

The delay is a significant blow for the software maker, which has been counting on the next version of Windows Mobile to enable devices that better rival Apple's iPhone. Among the features widely expected to be part of the release is advanced gesture recognition, perhaps along the lines of the iPhone, but possibly also using the camera as a means for reading gestures. Microsoft's Tellme unit, which focuses on speech input, has also been working on Windows Mobile 7 features.

Windows Mobile 6.1

Windows Mobile 7 is expected to be a dramatic improvement over 6.1, shown here, but when will it arrive?

(Credit: Microsoft)

The delay also comes amid stepped-up competition. Google is preparing Tuesday to launch the first phone running its Android operating system, while Apple has its updated iPhone 3G, and new models are also debuting from BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.

Microsoft, for its part, declined to comment on its plans. In an interview, group product manager Scott Rockfeld noted that CEO Steve Ballmer and mobile unit head Andy Lees did meet with 17 of the company's largest cell phone maker and carrier partners.

"They all expressed their excitement of what we are doing in the short term and the long term," Rockfeld said.

Microsoft is not expected to have a major update to its core operating system ahead of Windows Mobile 7. However, other improvements are expected to debut sooner, most notably an improved browser that brings the rendering engine of Internet Explorer 6 onto Windows Mobile. That update, still expected this year, should pave the way for Windows Mobile phones to display rich Web pages, including those that are home to Flash content and Ajax applications...

Inside the Wonderful World of Windows 7

calculatorHere’s a little info to prepare you for the arrival of Windows 7. Sure, it’s still well over a year away and sure, all this stuff could change at the drop of a hat, but let’s just run with it. Those with heart conditions should stop reading now.

According to Technologizer, an early build of Windows 7 may contain some or all of the following:

- A fancier calculator.

- The Office 2007 Ribbon thing may cross over into WordPad and MS Paint.

- Potentially less annoying User Access Control.

- My Documents will be called Libraries? Come on Microsoft, there’s no need to rename that stuff all the time.

- Control Panel will have System Tray settings.

Read more…

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