The HTC Imagio smartphone from Verizon is the latest to feature Microsoft's upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5, the mobile operating system scheduled to debut Oct. 6. Microsoft currently owns a small share of the mobile operating system market, a situation it no doubt hopes will change with the release of Windows Mobile 6.5 and then Windows Mobile 7 later in 2010. However, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is said to have admitted to regrets with regard to the company's Windows Mobile strategy.
Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system will appear on Verizon
Imagio smartphone, adding to the number of smartphones utilizing the operating
The HTC Imagio, which will debut on Oct.
6, will retail for $199.99 after $100 mail-in rebate. It will feature Windows
Mobile 6.5 Professional support with Office Mobile and Office Outlook Mobile.
In addition, the phone will feature a 3.6-inch touch screen with on-screen
QWERTY keyboard and support for Wi-Fi.
Microsoft's operating system has already been announced for a number of
devices ahead of its rollout. The beginning of September saw Microsoft and a
handful of manufacturing partners announce that Mobile
6.5 would debut on smartphone models from LG
and others. By the end of 2010, expect 13 Windows phones to have
made their debut.
Despite the propagation of so many different phone models within the ecosystem,
however, Microsoft has been struggling to increase its share of the mobile OS
At Microsoft's Venture Capital Summit on Sept. 24, CEO
Steve Ballmer allegedly said that the company had made mistakes regarding
Windows Mobile. Although no press were invited to the event, and Microsoft has
refused to confirm any comments made there, a handful of venture capitalists
sent messages via Twitter concerning Ballmer's statement. Hamburg-based
investor Paul Jozefak wrote in a
widely circulated Tweet:
"Ballmer says they screwed up with Windows
Mobile. Wishes they had already launched WM7. They completely revamped the
According to other Tweets, Ballmer said the Windows Mobile team had been
"pumped" with "new talent." Version 6.5 will come with a
number of incremental improvements over preceding versions, including widgets
and expanded touch capabilities.
Microsoft's share of the mobile OS market declined to around 9 percent in
the second quarter of 2009. Windows Mobile 6.5 will launch on Oct. 6, and
Microsoft has been encouraging developers to create applications for the accompanying
Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The
hope is that with about 600 applications available at the time of the operating
system's rollout, Windows Mobile 6.5 will be able to somewhat hold its own
against stiff competition from operating systems running on the Apple iPhone,
BlackBerry smartphones, the Palm Pre and other devices.
A mobile OS deal with a company like Verizon, said Roger Kay, an analyst
with Endpoint Technologies Associates, can only help Microsoft as it fights for
market share. "But an agreement like that is only one step," Kay
Windows Mobile 7 is widely expected to debut in the
fourth quarter of 2010. Although details remain largely under wraps, the
operating system will supposedly offer functionality that will allow phones
running it to compete directly against the iPhone and the Pre.