Rumor Mill: Will Microsoft debut WinMo 7 next month?

Microsoft may unveil its Windows Mobile 7 platform next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to a Bloomberg report, bringing fresh speculation as to when the company will debut its latest effort to try and regain smartphone operating system market share.

The report, citing an unnamed source familiar with Microsoft's plans, said the company would use the trade show to try and regain momentum in the smartphone market. The decision is not final, however, the report said. A report earlier this week in Bright Side of News said Microsoft will not formally unveil Windows Mobile 7 until 2011, citing information from sources including Microsoft, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Nokia, Nvidia and HTC.

A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment. "We're always working on future versions and have nothing new to announce," the spokeswoman, Debbie Anderson, told Bloomberg.

The company released the latest update to its mobile platform, Windows Mobile 6.5, last October, and previewed the platform at last year's Mobile World Congress. The release was met with largely unfavorable reviews, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the company knows it must do better with Windows Mobile 7: "We know we have to kill on that one."

Microsoft's platform has faced increasing competition in the market, particularly from Google's Android platform, which saw its reach grow significantly last year as more carriers and handset makers adopted it. Windows Mobile lost 28 percent market share between the third quarter of 2008 and the third quarter of 2009, according to research firm Gartner.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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