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MS to release WinMo 7 to phone makers in September

Mole also reiterates Zune, Xbox Live link claims

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Windows Mobile 7 will be handed over to smartphone makers in September, to allow them to ready devices based on the operating system for Q4 2010 or Q1 2011.

So claim sources said to be familiar with Microsoft's roadmap cited by DIgiTimes.

The mole repeated earlier claims that next month's Mobile World Congress industry shindig will not play host to WinMo 7's launch. Rather, Microsoft will announce the OS' release timetable and launch WinMo 6.6 instead.

The source also said Microsoft had selected Samsung, HTC, LG, Toshiba, Asus and Acer to develop WinMo 7 handsets, but since these companies already offer Windows Mobile devices, that's perhaps no great surprise. LG has said as much itself.

Rumours of late have suggested WinMo 7 will be forked into two editions focused, respectively, on business and consumer use. If true, the scheme is presumably intended to convince the former - WinMo's traditional heartland, that the new, Zune-based OS is suitable for them.

The DigiTimes source said WinMo 7 will support Zune - MS' media player family and media delivery service - but that's not quite the same thing as saying it is based entirely on Zune technology, which has been claimed will be the basis of WinMo 7. Hence allegations that the new OS won't run apps developed for past versions.

The source also said WinMo 7 will connects to Xbox Live - again, past rumours have maintained that Microsoft will use WinMo 7 to deliver mobile gaming - and Silverlight for multimedia playback. ®

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