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Ballmer locked and loaded for WinMo 7 debut

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Monday looks like the day when Microsoft plans to finally unveil its Windows Mobile comeback, challenging Google's Android and the Apple iPhone.

According to reports, the company is planning to use the opening day of the GSM Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain to publicly show off what has, until now, been called Windows Mobile 7.

The facts certainly point to Monday as being the day, as Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer will be keynoting and then hosting a Microsoft press conference at the event. You should also expect Microsoft's phone-maker partners to show off devices running the successor to Windows Mobile 6.5, which was unveiled at the same conference in 2009.

The only two questions are the name of the new operating system and whether it'll contain the same code as versions that predate the release due next Monday.

A year after the last Mobile World Congress - where Microsoft said it was using the brand "Windows Phone" to describe phones running its mobile operating system - and despite a US TV advertising and branding campaign it recently boasted about, things are being tweaked.

The new term being used is "Windows Phone 7," according to reports here.

The reasons for the change are unclear: All-About-Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley wrote the change could be to help denote a switch in code bases, between existing versions of Microsoft's mobile operating system and the release due Monday.

That said, Microsoft has a track record of playing marketing hokey-cokey for reasons that no-doubt make sense at the time internally, but that continue to baffle outsiders.

Other reports say the company has re-organized its marketing department. Under the change, Microsoft veteran and former general manager of Microsoft's advertising and customer engagement Gayle Troberman has been named as chief creative officer. The change was said to be part of "a regular internal review process." ®

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