Microsoft talked about WM7 on video and we all missed it

Sometimes you look so hard in the back alleys for leaks on something that you miss it when it's right in front of you.

In this case, lets flash back to October 2009 at the Microsoft San Francisco Dev Camp (we covered it here).  A traveling, nerdy roadshow, the Dev Camp was meant to get developers to attend presentations on programming and working with WM6.5 as well as a chance to meet with and ask questions members of the WinMo development team.

In other words, pretty technical and dry.  Unless some questions on Windows Mobile 7 and prospects of Zune phones get brought up...and answered.

Thanks to forum member Interframe, who watched the nearly 3 hr video, he caught some major gems that we all missed.

For example, at the 2hr mark, we get this exchange:

Q: (roughly translated): "So Steve Ballmer went out and recently said "Windows Mobile 6.1 wasn't what we wanted it to be, neither was 6.5", so with that in mind, when is 7 coming out?".....(The WM7 developer added to what the others from the WM team had to say about the question).....A: "I can give you a little inside information there Mike. I'm not gonna give you anymore than Loke gave you, but I can give you some context. My day job, is working on Windows Mobile 7. I own the calendar feature in fact. I had to try really really hard to convince my manager to let me come down here in San Fransisco and take a day off. All day long, working on 7, staying focused. Its on track (Ed. cough, cough)The reason its been delayed and you haven't heard much about it is cause we had to go back to the drawing board with our strategy. Change things a little bit to be more competitive when we come out the door, so were not laughed at. We wanna make the same kind of impact the Zune HD made, if you look at Engadget and the blogosphere, people were very impressed with the Zune HD in many ways except for the lack of an app store.We wanna put out something that we're all proud of, which is competitive on day one, we don't wanna wait any longer."

But there's more. 

  • There won't be an OTA update feature in WM6.5 (which should be obvious at this point) but they are serious about it for WM7
  • Definitely no Zune phone, but they are most certainly aware of trying to emulate that success with their new OS
  • Better graphics support in the OS and for developers too

Read Interframe's word-for-word transcript here and check out the whole video here for yourself.  The video is chock full of little tid-bits and we encourage you folks to watch it from 1hr 58mins and forward for the Q&A.  Either way, next year, when we're all gawking at our WM7 calendar, I want you to think of "blue shirt guy".

(And note, in case that video disappears, we have the whole thing on our HDD ready to be re-posted).

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Interesting, but if you back and listen and read carefully, there isn't really much affirmation or denial of anything. At this level, can you believe anything said about Microsoft's corporate strategic plans? These are the guys that Microsoft fires the next day on a executive office suite whim. Makes the whole "interview" feel hokey. And what developer doesn't promise better graphics and developer support for the next version of their OS? With Microsoft you pretty much have to wait and see what you get when you get it. (How many features were promised for Vista?) So when is 7 due out? Oh, if you want to put anything on the record: "So Steve Ballmer went out and recently said "Windows Mobile 6.1 wasn't what we wanted it to be, neither was 6.5"". So why didn't you title this post "Steve Balmer Admits WM6.5 was Lame".
  • I think there is some pretty good confirmation that MS had to go back and re-work the UI and plans for the OS, hence the delay. That they changed strategy knowing the market had really changed 2 years ago with the iPhone. As far as the Ballmer thing, that's not news. They were referencing this situation with Ballmer and some venture capitalists : I also don't think you can say Ballmer thinks WM6.5 is "lame" just because it's not what they wanted it to be. CEOs are rarely happy with the final product and it's what drives them to push forward. It's also interesting to hear from (a) actual MS employees on WM7, as opposed to un-named sources and HK factories (b) the actual guy who works on the calendar function for WM7. Seems to be lots of info between the lines and this is more official than 90% of the stuff out there (something they mention when talking about release dates and slides).
  • Thanks for the article. PS. It's "chock full", not "chalk full".
  • ...and corrected, thanks.
  • Microsoft has already lost the phone game. It's gone. The winners, Android and iPhone, have already spent the last 2 years developing the next phase, the lightweight tablet. These are not tablets like the ones that used to run Vista. These are a new breed of low power-ARM devices with multi-touch interfaces, designed for content consumption. Microsoft is always chasing last year's game. Like a puppy dog chasing another dog, it just follows the direction the other dog goes, and never is able to catch the stick. Windows Mobile 7 is already 2 years late. Now we're told it's going to be an extra year (end of 2010) before it comes out, because Microsoft didn't want to release something it would get laughed at.