Microsoft plans to release at least one more Windows Mobile 6 version to tide users over until a more meaningful upgrade, a leak says today. The company is purportedly so disappointed with Windows Mobile 6.5 sales since launch that the company is rolling out a 6.6 update in February. It would primarily add native support for capacitive touchscreens, which would give it much more finger-friendly input than the resistive-only 6.5.
It’s likely that any such interim release would also involve button layout changes seen in the unreleased Windows Mobile 6.5.1 and 6.5.3 updates, which move the Start button to the bottom and enlarge many of the on-screen buttons to make them easier to hit.
However, the release may be necessary as the contacts for DigiTimes echo rumors that the truly modernized release, Windows Mobile 7, has been delayed until 2011. If true, the push back could represent an embarrassment for Microsoft as it will have been selling variants of Windows Mobile 6 for four years before its major sequel appears. Many of Microsoft’s once loyal partners have either shifted more of their focus to Android or dropped Windows Mobile entirely. Others, like HTC, have sought to overcome Windows’ weaknesses by replacing much of Microsoft’s OS with their own and adding capacitive touch input on their own.