UX Evangelist today is suggesting that Windows Mobile 7 already is in Beta and in fact, will be revealed in November at PDC (Professional Developers Conference) 2009.  Of course we're expecting Steve Ballmer to drop some info on WM7 at CES 2010, but that doesn't necessarily preclude something at PDC either.

On top of that, UXE has scoured LinkedIn to find any info on developers and what they've put on their resumes in regards to WM7-- it is quite the list with many technologies mentioned.

So can developers expect an actual beta in their hands of WM7 in November?  Read on for the clues and grab that salt shaker--it's speculating time!

Beta Release in November?

UX Evangelist points to three bits of info to back up his claim about a November beta release for WM7:

  1. Microsoft has a history of not only announcing but releasing software at PDC -- so developers can expect to walk away with something like a beta. 
  2. We've seen MS aim for a WM7 beta this year and even a November mention before to boot (see above image) -- same month as PDC 2009
  3. A LinkedIn profile of a Motorola employee states "Runtime Environment: Windows Mobile 7.0 (Beta)"

(Motorola has a close working relationship with MS we have been told from our own sources). UX Evangelist goes on to suggest that it will be announced on Day 1 or 2 in a keynote and then on the following days, working devices will be available  for interaction.

Sounds plausible to us. If Microsoft is aiming for a release in 2010, you can bet WM7 is quite far in development and we suppose a November announcement could happen.  Then again, maybe it will be all Windows 7 talk?

So what cool new things could WM7 bring to the table?  That leads us to the next topic.

WM7 Features

In a follow-up article, UX Evangelist laid out his results from a daunting task: he scoured over LinkedIn, looking up developer's profiles and seeing if he could find any mention of Windows Mobile 7. Guess what? He found a ton, which we'll shamelessly re-post below.

What do we learn from this amazing finding? 

  • Microsoft is serious about handwriting recognition
  • WM7 will have compass & accelerometer support
  • Texas Instruments (TI) & Qualcomm chipsets get support. TI's OMAP processors in particular, which are suppose to be great
  • Something about AT&T's video calling service
  • WM7 should "... rock on Motorola and Samsung devices"
  • ActiveSync is still there and is not going away with Device Stage

Read below to see the actual tech-jargon and see if you folks can pick up any gems we've missed.

Developer for the WM7 Handwriting Recognition system. Source

I am responsible for designing and developing the Multimedia subsystem development for Tegra (APX2500) on Windows platforms including latest OS Windows Mobile 7. Source

Planned, designed, architected and implemented MEMS sensor capabilities in Windows Mobile 7-based platform, including accelerometer and compass. Source (Hey, I thought this guy made karate movies! lol. =B )

Owned the testing of the Nickname Cache feature and Windows Live ID feature implemented by the Exchange Mobile Client team to be included in the Windows Mobile 7 release. Source

Sr. SW Dev. Engineer – Symbian S60 & WM7 (2008 to 2009), System Integration & "Bring Up" Flow, using diff. Design Platforms (Linux/Java, Symbian/S60 and WM6/WM7) Source

Responsible for the integration of BCM4325 wlan chip on Caesar Platform (OMAP3430) on WM7 as a native host driver. Source

Oversaw development of the Rich Video Call(AT&T Video Share) UI, session control, and porting of the IP Multimedia Subsystem stack to Windows Mobile 7. Source

Working on creating and maintining automation software used for automated testing of ActiveSync in Windows Mobile 7. Source

(Premium Mobile Experience Group) RIL, GPS, WiFi, and USB on Windows Mobile 7. Source

Managed Test Automation for Windows Mobile 7 Outlook Mobile syncing. Source

Low level programming (database/sync management) for Outlook in Win Mobile 7. Source

Windows Mobile 7 Board Support Package for Freescale chipset. Bootloader development, NAND and OneNAND Flash Memory drivers. Source

Development of Test automation for Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Mobile 7, the next generation of Mobile Operating System. Source (Most likely at IE8 now)

Last assignment was as consulting Dev PM/Lead on the Windows Mobile Platform Team (MESE Dogfood). Working to help make Windows Mobile 7 rock on Motorola and Samsung devices. Source

Develop Windows Mobile 7 BSP for Freescale ICs. Source

Collect requirements from internal teams and create a long term deployment plan for Windows Mobile 7 Labs. Design and direct the creation of self servicing lab spaces for three Windows Mobile 7 add on projects. Oversee the public launch of one of the Windows Mobile 7 add on projects. Source

Windows Mobile 7 integration on TI chipset platform. Source

Now, I'm leading a team, responsibility for Qualcomm platform and Windows Mobile 7. Source

Working on the (then) next generation Windows Mobile 7 Messaging Application. Focusing on Messaging functionality and interface. Source

As a researcher, gathered requirements from the project team and formed the test task list and test document of WM7 IME, Live Video Search, and Mobile Search usability test. Source

Microsoft UX Team Project Manager for the Mobile Insights Panel
• Drove progress for this $2 million instrumented mobile phone research project to collect user activity data from 400+ users to improve the Windows Mobile software experience.
• Worked with the Windows Mobile team to create special data collection software for the MIP devices. The WM team is looking to include parts of this software in the production release of WM 7.

Creating feature prototypes for Windows Mobile 7 in Silverlight. Source

 So what do you all think about these findings?  Fire away in comments!