Windows Mobile 6.5 isn't "the full release we wanted"
By Barry Collins
Posted on 6 Mar 2009 at 09:50
Steve Ballmer has tacitly conceded that Windows Mobile 6.5 is no match for the iPhone or Google Android.
Speaking at Microsoft's Public Sector CIO Summit in Redmond, Ballmer was put on the spot by a member of the audience, who questioned the company's mobile phone strategy.
"With platforms like the Google phone and iPhone coming out, it's really tough to continue to stand behind Windows Mobile when our employees are bringing these consumer devices into our environments," Chris Kemp, the CIO of NASA's Ames Research Center said to Ballmer, according to a report on TechFlash.
"I'm wondering what your commitment is to continuing to get newer versions of the operating system in our hands so that we don't have to fight this battle on the ground."
Ballmer admitted the company was falling behind its rivals. "We have a significant release coming this year," he said. "Not the full release we wanted to have this year but we have a significant release coming this year with Windows Mobile 6.5."
"But I think with Windows Mobile 6.5, there will be phones in market this year. We still don't get some of the things that people want on the highest-end phones. Those will come on Windows Mobile 7 next year.
"Certainly I'm not... there's opportunities for us to accelerate our execution in this area, and we've done a lot of work to really make sure we have a team that's going to be able to accelerate."
Ballmer himself unveiled Windows Mobile 6.5 at the Mobile World Congress last month. The operating system includes a new "honeycomb" interface and revamped web browser.
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