Rumor Mill: WinMo 6.5 coming in September, WinMo 7 in 2010

Handset vendors will begin releasing phones based on Windows Mobile 6.5 in September of this year and Windows Mobile 7 phones will be released in April 2010, according to a report on ZDNet.com

The report, citing sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, said WinMo 6.5 will be released to manufacturers in April, and will be launched on phones beginning September. Additionally, WinMo 7 will be released to testers in November and available on phones next April.

It had previously been rumored by a Taiwanese handset maker that WinMo 6.5 would be available in the third quarter of 2009, but there has never been news about when a possible Windows 7 launch would be. Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha let slip this week in Motorola's earnings conference call that the handset maker would be working with version 7 in 2010.

Microsoft is expected to unveil WinMo 6.5. later this month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Microsoft has said it would like to limit the number of partners working with the firm on Windows Mobile development and launches. The report said the compressed release cycle could be because of closer relationships with partners, requiring fewer beta tests. The software giant may be looking to churn out updates to compete with the growing popularity of Google's Android platform, which is expected to migrate to numerous handset vendors in 2009.   

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