Windows Mobile 6.x handsets not upgradeable to Windows Phone 7 after all
It looks like there’s a bit of confusion among Microsoft officials at the moment regarding the upgradeability of Windows Mobile 6.x devices to Windows Phone 7.
Last week, Microsoft UK said that upgrades are “really for the hardware partners to think about.”
Today, however, Natasha Kwan, General Manager for Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business in the Asia-Pacific region, declared to APC that “because we have very specific requirements for Windows Phone 7 Series, the current phones we have right now will not be upgradeable.” Why they didn’t specifically said so from the beginning is beyond me.
This includes the HTC HD2, which doesn’t qualify because it doesn’t have the back, home and search hardware keys required by WP7.
Windows Mobile 6.5 phones will be upgradeable to WM 6.5.3 though, and Microsoft thinks some customers will still want to buy WM 6.x devices, since the “platform has a lot of enterprise and line of business apps.” After the upgrade, Windows Mobile 6.5.3 will be rebranded and called Windows Phone Classic. This should happen in late 2010, when Windows Phone 7 Series devices will start to appear – with the recently-seen LG QWERTY slider probably being the first among them.