Microsoft is planning to leverage Windows Mobile 6.5 to compete against Android while pinning its hopes on Windows Mobile 7 to compete against the iPhone, according to a recent report in Digitimes.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows Mobile 6.5 isn’t scheduled to hit stores until October 2009 while Windows Mobile 7 won’t be available until February 2010 – and that’s barring any delays.
Microsoft will not phase out Windows Mobile 6.5 from the market but will lower the OS price, when it launches Windows Mobile 7 scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2010, the sources added.
The dual-platform strategy will allow Microsoft to compete with Android-based platform using Windows Mobile 6.5 and also compete with iPhones leveraging Windows Mobile 7, the sources asserted.
Trying to compete with Android phones and the iPhone concurrently seems like typically and horribly bad Microsoft strategy. In trying to be everything to everyone, they will ultimately deliver mediocrity across the board. Windows Mobile is dying, and in today’s iPhone and Palm Pre world, it’s a joke of an OS. The fact of the matter is that Windows Mobile 6.5 is simply a stop gap measure so that Microsoft can regroup and deliver a “modern” phone OS in Windows Mobile 7.
More troubling for Microsoft, however, is how late it’s coming to the game – which is pretty astounding considering that they’ve been in the mobile software business for years. Much like their attempts to catch up to the iPod with the Zune, the folks at Redmond might soon find that by the time they launch Windows Mobile 7, competitors will already be releasing or announcing updates that will make Microsoft’s offering seem antiquated. Ultimately, Microsoft is competing with the smartphones of today by releasing its own products tomorrow. And that’s never a winning strategy.