Around the time Microsoft began publically discussing Windows Mobile 6.5, a news story surfaced which stated that the company planned to stop calling their Windows-powered phones “Windows Mobile Smartphones” in favor of the shorter, simpler label “Windows Phones.” This had the ring of truth, so we passed the information along.
We assumed, as did the author of the original Digitimes article, that the OS name – Windows Mobile – would remain and that the term “Windows Phone” would be what phones running Windows Mobile would be commonly referred to (in ads, store displays, etc.) from WM6.5 forward. But a story at the Inquirer.net tells us that the OS itself is receiving the name change.
According to the post, the current Windows Mobile 6.1, the soon-to-arrive Windows Mobile 6.5, and the heretofore unseen Windows Mobile 7, will each be called Windows Phone without any version numbers at all. This is certainly possible, but it seems unlikely that all three versions of the mobile OS will be called simply “Windows Phone” – how will consumers know what version of the OS is powering the handset they’re looking to buy? Yes, I’d like the Windows Phone with the October 2009 release of Windows Phone, please. When’s the next Windows Phone Windows Phone coming out? ‘Cause I hear Windows Phone will have features Windows Phone doesn’t. Microsoft has made some odd moves in the mobile space, but this seems unlikely even for them.
While the Inquirer story could certainly prove to be correct, the original story makes more sense: that Windows Phone will be the name for devices running Windows Mobile 6.5 and above and that, at least on the Settings page, you’ll still see version numbers with the words Windows Mobile somewhere nearby.
If the story does turn out to the right, and version numbers are completely dropped, perhaps we’ll see version names instead of numbers: Windows Phone Egyptian Mau or Windows Phone Maine Coon (to borrow a naming scheme).
So, are you excited about Windows Phone or are you happy with your Windows Phone? Inquirer-ing minds want to know.