I posted an article a week ago stating how the Windows Phone 7 Series would be the end of WinMo 6.5, to the point that I was verbally dancing on its gravesite. Well, looks like WinMo just got some major life support, and will continue on as Windows Phone Starter.
There were hints of this before WinPho 7’s launch, with rumors of a “Windows Phone Classic”. Whether or not this is the same as Windows Phone Starter we still don’t know.
What we do know isn’t all that groundbreaking either. At the new OS’s core is the WinMo 6.5 we love and hate, just stripped down a bit. It is designed to be a cheaper alternative to the WinPho 7 line, targeting emerging markets in developing countries. The name and concept naturally follows Microsoft’s idea for Windows 7 Starter Edition.
However, don’t plan on ever actually getting to use a WinPho Starter phone if you live in the US or the developed world. Microsoft posted a list of radio spectra that it is planning to support for Starter, and HSDPA 3G stands noticeably absent. Looks like Microsoft is going to strong-arm carriers and manufacturers into using WinPho 7 in markets they can.
Another missing feature for some versions will be Office Mobile. If you have a strong hankering for Sense UI WinMo phones, look to your favorite developing nation to buy a WinPho Starter phone. The rest of us will just have to struggle living in a world where WinMo is being phased out.