Let's toss a little water on some of the latest unconfirmed rumors flying through the blogosphere (and I really don't like that term) regarding Windows Mobile 7, that Office 2010 screenshot and just when Microsoft will announce WM7, shall we? Join us after the break.
Rumor No. 1: The appearance of another supposed Windows Mobile 7 screenshot
Well, look at that. Microsoft itself put this one out along with the beta release of Office 2010, and Neowin was among the first to spot it on Wednesday. Only, it's not a new screenshot. MSFT Kitchen unearthed it a number of weeks ago, and it's sort of still in line with supposed WM7 screenies leaked months ago. Tack onto that that it's also right in line with what we were shown a number of months ago and were told would be Windows Mobile 6.5.1. (Obviously, at this point, it's not.)
Now, take into account the latest builds of Windows Mobile 6.5.1 (or whatever the next "dot" increase is called) making the rounds. These things are growing nearly weekly. Does anyone really thing that a UI we saw months ago is actually going to be Windows Mobile 7?
Note that as of this morning, Microsoft has removed the picture from the Office 10 beta site. While removals often indicate truth, we don't think so in this case. More likely someone just got yelled at.
To Neowin's credit, their post is titled "Windows Mobile 7 UI confirmed by Microsoft?" Note the dreaded question mark. We all use it. It spreads the message while allowing a shred of deniability. But just barely. Of course, from there the message gets distorted as the rest of us pick it up. It happens, and we're all guilty. Neowin draws no conclusion but posts the following question: "Is this Windows Mobile 7, something in-between or just concept?"
Indeed. Our take: We still don't think this will be Windows Mobile 7.
Rumor No. 2: Windows Mobile 7 at MIX 2010
From the same Neowin post: That Microsoft "will unveil its plans for Windows Mobile 7 at the MIX 2010 conference in March next year." and "Microsoft Office Vice President Kurt Delbene confirmed the news at the end of day two at the Professional Developers Conference here in Los Angeles."
That's all we have to have to go on. We're not discounting what was said, nor do we take issue with how it was reported. (We weren't there at PDC to hear it, and we've reached out for more clarification. But today is a travel day for many. Update: Here's what actually was said.) We're pretty sure Windows Mobile 7 will be a big topic at MIX 2010, just as WM6.5 was at MIX09.
But we're having a hard time believing that Microsoft would announce Windows Mobile 7 on a smaller stage than it did Windows Mobile 6.5, which was made public at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, about a month before MIX09. Announcing and "unveiling plans" are two very different things.
Of course, that's all conjecture on our part, and we're certainly not beyond coughing up a big FAIL from time to time. (And pointing the finger inward when it happens.) But let's all take a deep breath here. Windows Mobile 7 is coming. It will be announced. It will be later than we (and Microsoft) wanted it to be. It will be loved by many, and panned by many. There will be truths. There will be inaccuracies. And there will be many a blog post to come.