Microsoft Announces New Mobile Operating System for Enterprise Customers
"Microsoft will soon release a new mobile OS for embedded and enterprise devices based on Windows Mobile 6.5, to be followed by an enterprise-focused version of Windows Phone 7 in 2011, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said by video at the launch of a new Motorola enterprise smartphone on Thursday."
Wow...this came out of nowhere! Last year there were rumblings about there being two versions of Windows Phone 7 - one consumer-focused, one enterprise-focused - but it never materialized when Microsoft officially announced Windows Phone 7. Now it seems we know why: the enterprise version based on Windows Phone 7 won't be ready until the second half of 2011. Instead, within the next six months, Microsoft will release Windows Embedded Handheld, which is based on Windows Mobile 6.5.
The announcement comes at the launch of the Motorola ES400 - pictures above - which is a Windows Mobile 6.5.3-based handheld device sold through Sprint's Enterprise channels. If it looks somewhat familiar, it's because it was designed by Motorola's Enterprise Group...previously known as Symbol. Remember them? They made some pretty cool ruggedized devices. The ES400 is powered by a 600 Mhz ARM11 processor, supports Sprint's CDMA EVDO and GSM HSPA, along with 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi. A fingerprint reader on the back and a barcode scanner - along with a ruggedized keyboard - round out the enterprise-class hardware. The screen is 3-inches, with a 640 x 480 resolution. The ES400 will launch later this year - no price has been announced.