Windows Mobile 6.5.x to become Windows Phone Classic, Starter Edition

Phones running Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series OS won’t be out till fall 2010 at the earliest, but that hasn’t stopped word from leaking about what will happen to the company’s existing OS, Windows Mobile 6.5.3.

Looks like Windows Mobile 6.5.x will split into two branches, a Classic Edition and a Starter Edition.  Microsoft has thus far only confirmed the Starter Edition, which will presumably be a cheaper, stripped-down version for developing markets.  Here’s what a Microsoft rep had to say:

“[Starter will be for devices] with and without Microsoft Office Mobile and supports 2G (GSM), 2.5G (CDMA2000 xRTT, EDGE, GPRS), CDMA (Rev A, EV-DO Revision A), and TD-SCDMA radios.”

Interestingly, the list does not include support for GSM 3G (HSDPA) networks.  If it’s not just a mistake, such a move might be aimed at ensuring that developed markets with widespread 3G use don’t see too many phones running Starter Edition.

We don’t have much solid information on what the Classic Edition would entail, but we believe it may be the new branding for the last updates to the Windows Mobile 6.5.x line, adding touch-friendly features like a UI-wide magnifying glass.

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