Next week, Microsoft will unveil its latest mobile operating system at the Mobile World Congress. Windows Mobile 7 presents the company with a chance to gain ground on iPhone and Android. On the other hand, if it's poorly received it could seal the fate of Windows Mobile, an operating system which has sunk to just 9 percent of the total market share. Of course, most mobile blogs have come up with their own theories about what we can expect from Windows Mobile 7. Some are seemingly credible, while others are quite incredible. I've picked out the gossip that I think has the most substance to keep you going until Microsoft reveals all next week.
PPCGeeks has published a comprehensive round-up of the new features of Windows Mobile 7. It stresses that the information is not official, but the "closest information we have heard on actually being real". Whatever that means. According to this information, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is there will be no multi-tasking, although it says that apps will pause in the background, which is at least a little better than the iPhone can manage. PPC Geeks also reckons that WM7 will not support Flash or Silverlight within the browser, although it claims Silverlight will be supported out of the browser.
All the rumor sites seem to suggest that the new OS will be very focused on media and gaming. PPC Geeks is predicting full integration with Xbox Live, including the ability to purchase games. Apparently Windows Mobile 7 will use the Zune software to handle music, videos, and photo syncing, which could be a positive step towards challenging the iPhone's supremacy as the leading MP3 and video phone. With talk of push notifications and support for social networking in the new OS, WM7 could be a great platform for keeping in touch.
Elsewhere, WMExperts has thrown its theories into the mix. It claims that there will be two versions of the platform: a Business Edition and a Media Edition, the latter of which will include support for HD video, a Zune-esque music player, and potentially even streaming TV. The Business Edition will apparently be big on syncing, allowing users to share data across multiple devices through the cloud.
Gizmodo is always keen to throw tidbits onto the rumor mill. It says the SDK will be available in early June, and slates September as a potential release date for the operating system. The post also talks of a new gesture-based input system, which would allow users luxuries such as pinch-zoom, rotation and twisting that aren't currently possible with Windows Mobile 6.x. Speaking of the previous incarnation of the OS, Gizmodo reckons that WM7 will support apps designed for version 6, although Russian mobile phone guru Eldar Murtazin claims that it won't.
We'll be at the Mobile World Congress next week, so we'll be able to confirm or deny all of these rumors as soon as we see Windows Mobile 7 in action. In the meantime, if you have any ideas about what you think will be in the new version, or what you'd like to see, please let us know.