Windows Mobile 6.5: Instant Classic
“Windows Mobile 6.5 isn’t just a letdown–it barely seems done….[It’s] an OS that hasn’t been fundamentally changed in years, and which bears a strong resemblance to Windows Mobile 6.1, and a startlingly not-weak resemblance to PocketPC.”
– Gizmodo’s John Herman in “Windows Mobile 6.5 Review: There’s No Excuse For This”
If “Windows Phone” is to be the new designation for Microsoft’s mobile OS, the company can’t afford to have four-month-old Windows Mobile 6.5 muddle its branding. So the company is renaming it. The rumored moniker: “Windows Phone Classic.”
An obvious choice, I suppose, if it is indeed a choice–Microsoft (MSFT) refused to confirm this, telling me it hasn’t yet made any “final branding decisions” on Windows Phones 6.x; my sources tell me differently. But it’s entirely ironic given that the definition of “classic” according to Merriam-Webster is variously “serving as a standard of excellence,” “of recognized value,” and “historically memorable.” Windows Mobile 6.5 is none of these; well, it might be “historically memorable,” but if it is, it’s for the wrong reasons.
In any event, the rebranding is a wise move. As widely disparaged as it has been, Windows Mobile 6.5 is still widely used, particularly in enterprise. A December 2009 survey by Aberdeen Group showed 63 percent of respondents using the operating system, second only to BlackBerry’s 74 percent. Given that and the enterprise world’s general aversion to early adoption, continued legacy support of WinMo 6.5 is essential.