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Windows Phone Classic to coexist with Windows Phone 7

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Windows Mobile 6.x is to be known as "Windows Phone Classic" once its replacement launches, and apparently isn't to be taken out and shot as might have been expected.

When Steve Ballmer announced Windows Phone 7 Series, he did emphasise that Redmond wouldn't be pulling the plug on Windows Mobile just yet. Instead, Microsoft has told iStartedSomething that the not-quite-redundant-yet platform will continue to exist under the "Classic" moniker.

But Windows Mobile, even version 6.5, is aimed at mobile phones, and it's hard to imagine many manufacturers will be interested in launching "Classic" handsets once the new all-singing-all-dancing 7 Series is on the shelves. A few diehards might prefer the mobile-computing capabilities of Windows Mobile, but they will be a vanishingly-small minority.

So this assertion that the Classic version will continue is more likely a sop to those manufacturers who've spent the last few months developing such handsets, or have plans to launch them soon. Microsoft wants them to have hope that the platform isn't going to disappear overnight.

It's hard to imagine Microsoft running two application stores, maintaining two developer communities and tolerating the inevitable confusion that keeping Classic going would entail. So for the moment it's "Windows Phone Classic", but don't expect the moniker, or the platform, to last for long. ®

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