Microsoft confirms 2010 release for Windows Mobile 7

Microsoft Windows Mobile

To date, Microsoft has been coy about when Windows Mobile 7 would be released. All we had to go on were rumours suggesting a 2010 release. That changed yesterday when, during the latest “Microsoft Strategic Update Meeting” conference call, Steve Ballmer confirmed that Windows Mobile 7 is coming next year.

Ballmer noted that there is increasing integration between Windows and Windows Mobile.

Windows, Windows Mobile, and those two will become I’d say closer in many ways. There’s still a real distinction between what’s a phone and what’s a PC. And yet the amount of technology that can be shared across that border continues to go up.

You can also look forward to more services, including the Zune Entertainment Service which will span PCs, phones and televisions.

Ballmer also said that Windows Mobile remains one of Microsoft’s key business areas. As such, Microsoft is currently spending about 4 percent of its operating expenditures on the platform. It also employs about 2000 people. In comparison, RIM has about 2900. But Ballmer recognized that Windows Mobile is still “somewhat unprofitable”.

Ballmer also once again reiterated that Microsoft has no plans to make its own phones. It remains committed to the licensing model currently in place.

The full transcript (MS Word document) is available from Microsoft.