Microsoft to rebrand WinMo as 'Windows Phone Classic'
OS will co-exist with Windows Phone 7
That's according to an interview with an unnamed rep by tech blogger Long Zheng at istartedsomething.com.
The blog states that Microsoft is altering WinMo's moniker to enable it to co-exist with Windows Phone 7. Rather than competing in the same marketplace, the two systems will be pitched at entirely different audiences once Windows Phone 7 is on the scene.
Windows Phone Classic will make emerging markets (where more traditional, older handsets have greater take-up) and enterprise (where statistics suggest it is second only to BlackBerry) its speciality.
Windows Phone 7, of course, will have more of a consumer focus in western markets, where it's expected to go toe-to-toe with iPhone and Android.
It's an important declaration by Microsoft for OEMs, those with handsets running Windows Mobile 6.5 no doubt keen to ensure the OS has legacy support.
As if to cement its future, HTC has also announced that its forthcoming HTC Mini handset, due to launch in April, will run Windows Mobile 6.5.3.
The rebranding does signify an attempt by Microsoft to distance the refreshed Windows Phone brand from WinMo's past, however. Commentators suggest the platform has a tainted reputation in some quarters.
Last month, LG, which has been a strong partner for Microsoft in its mobile ventures, admitted Windows Mobile had "legacy issues" that made it "challenging to compete in mobiles."