As reported earlier in the month, Windows Phone Starter Edition will be a budget option for smartphone makers still looking to run a Windows-powered mobile OS.
Based on Windows Mobile 6 rather than Windows Phone 7, the point of this Starter Edition will be to make a Windows OS for smartphones available to a wider user base, including those “in new and emerging markets.”
Two versions of Windows Phone Starter will be made available to OEMs: one with Office Mobile included and one without. Starter will not include 3G HSDPA data support, according to reports, but will support EV-DO.
This move essentially allows Windows Mobile 6.5 to live on as a budget OS option. Mary-Jo Foley of ZDNet also reports that companies will be launching devices with Windows Phone Starter Edition later this year. We’ve also seen references to Windows Mobile 6 living on as Windows Phone Classic, but have yet to get word from Microsoft on this point.