WinMo Wrap: Is WinMo 7 Coming in September?

The week marches on and today being Saturday means it is time to recap the recent happenings in the world of Windows Mobile. No matter if you fall in the long-time WinMo camp or the merely curious, all eyes are focused on Windows Mobile 7. It is clear that Microsoft (s msft) needs to get this out the door as quickly as possible or face continued loss of market share to the competition. Microsoft is not willing to let us know yet when we might expect the big upgrade, but handset maker LG may have let the cat out of the bag that it expects WM7 to hit in September of this year. LG tweeted that its handsets would get WM7 in September, but the tweets were rapidly deleted. WMPoweruser was quick enough to catch them, and it does seem that LG at least expects to be doling WM7 out to its customers in September.

Steve Ballmer was all excited that the HTC HD2 with WM6.5 is coming to the U. S., and I admit I am happy that T-Mobile has picked up the best Windows phone currently available. It’s not clear if the HD2 will be getting an upgrade to WM7 when it’s available, but HTC has sort of leaked that it will be getting the upgrade when it is available and it will be a free download. The HD2 has all of the latest smartphone hardware inside, notably the Snapdragon processor, and it should easily be able to run the new OS when it is released. Now if we can only get WM7 in our hands.

With the Mobile World Congress (MWC) looming near, it has long been expected that Microsoft would use the global phone event to roll WM7 out to the masses. This week it got a bit murkier as to whether MS would indeed be using MWC to finally show of WM7, or if they would instead be touting yet another interim release to the platform, WM6.6. While I am hoping this is just another negative rumor, Mary Jo Foley points out one very disturbing fact that lends a bit of credence to this possibility:

Some time in the past week, Microsoft removed any references to Windows Mobile from the Mix 2010 show site. A week ago, I saw a session placeholder saying there’d be some Windows Mobile content of interest to Mix attendees at the show, but it was too early to provide specifics. That placeholder is now gone, as are any references in the “Sessions” area to Windows Mobile.

It certainly seems Microsoft is playing WM7 too close to the vest, something that can be positive in the PR game if one is in a position of market strength. That is definitely not the case here, so MS better demonstrate WM7 at the MWC or there will be long-term ramifications.