Windows Mobile 7: The social networking phone OS?

Windows Mobile 6.5 may still be weeks away from its release, but Microsoft is already leaking clues about its successor

Windows Mobile 6.5 may still be weeks away from its release, but Microsoft is already leaking clues about its successor. Windows Mobile 7 will directly integrate social networking functionality into a phone's "core experience," according to a job posted Thursday on Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices jobs site.

Windows Mobile 7 and Social Networking

Little official information is known about Windows Mobile 7 so far (though there's no shortage of unconfirmed speculation). The mobile operating system is expected to debut sometime next fall, about a year after next month's Windows Mobile 6.5 release. Some blog postings suggest as many as 1,000 Microsoft employees may already be working on the system's development.

Perhaps the most concrete company-endorsed clue to date, however, is what's revealed in the newly published Microsoft job description. The position, called senior program manager for Windows Mobile, is one of about a hundred Windows Mobile-related jobs that come up on a search of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices job site. Per the posting:

" 'Social networks' and 'mobile phones' are two rapidly evolving socio-cultural phenomena that deeply impact the way in which people interact with each other. How would you like to be at the confluence of these phenomena, not as an observer but as someone who is defining the course?

"The Windows Mobile 7 Communications group is building experiences on the phone that present your content -- friends, pictures, messages, events -- to you in immersive and engaging ways. Our vision is to bring social networks to life by integrating them into the core experience of the phone. For example, imagine seeing all the newsfeeds from all the networks you care about in a single hub on the phone. Or imagine the phone instantly telling you what your friend is doing and where he is when you get a call from him."

Microsoft's Social-Mobile Goals

The job posting goes on to explain that Microsoft wants to build a "mobile social platform" that'll encourage developers to create socially focused applications for the system. It states that the company has "just begun drawing the first lines" of the platform and hints at the lofty goals surrounding the Windows Mobile 7 release.

"The vision of WM7 and especially the communications team is ambitious," the posting says. "We are not building yet another cool phone, but one that is truly personal and relevant. Yes, the competition is stiff, but it's exceeded only by our desire to win. Come help us build this epic phone."

Building an epic phone -- one that could prove analysts wrong and actually compete with the mobile market giants -- would be one epic feat, indeed.

JR Raphael shows his less serious side at eSarcasm, his new geek humor site. You can keep up with him on Twitter: @jr_raphael.

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JR Raphael

PC World (US online)
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