The word is out. Natasha Kwan, Microsoft‘s
(deep breath) General Manager for Mobile Communications Business in the Asia-Pacific market
(deep breath) has announced that phones currently running the Windows Mobile 6 OS will not be upgradable to Windows Phone 7; stating “Because we have very specific requirements for Windows Phone 7 Series the current phones we have right now will not be upgradable.”
This will include popular smart phones like the recently launched HTC HD2, which apparently doesn’t meet hardware qualifications for Windows Phone 7 “because it doesn’t have the three buttons”.
Microsoft will not abandon Windows Mobile 6.x, but simply repackage it as Windows Classic, a cheaper operating system for a cheaper smart phone. The OS will be updated to 6.5.3, to improve the 6.x users experience somewhat.
A lot of 6.5 applications have been built very much from the old paradigm of the stylus. Those legacy apps will be a lot more compatible on 6.5.3 because we have magnifier technology which lets you use your finger for navigating, even though it has a much bigger surface area.