Microsoft is doing a complete 180 and reinventing the way it handles its mobile presence. When the iPhone was first announced, Steve Ballmer quipped that Windows Mobile was on hundreds of devices all over the world while the iPhone was one operating system on one handset on one carrier. It looks like he and the gang are thinking differently these days.
Windows Phone 7 has been such a stark departure from Windows Mobile, which is a good thing, and we’re happy to see that the devices are following suit. Instead of slapping a clunky and cumbersome operating system onto a smörgåsbord of devices, Microsoft has decided on three models or chassis for its new OS.
Chassis 1 is basically what we’ve seen so far. It will be a large touchscreen-only device with a 1GHz processor and is slated for release around the 2010 holiday season. Chassis 2 will include slide-out QWERTY keyboards reminiscent of Windows Mobile devices, which is particularly good for folks who still want the clickety-clack of physical keys. Chassis 3 is still a mystery, so let your imagination free. Will it be a slider? Candybar?
For Apple and Palm, it seems this strict ecosystem has been a recipe for success. And while I’ve always had an aversion to Windows Mobile in the past, I’m looking forward to what Microsoft has in store for its future handsets.