More Windows Phone Starter Edition answers

wmstarterMary Jo Foley from the ZDNet blog has received some answers to questions directly from a Microsoft spokesman about Windows Phone Starter Edition, which will be based on Windows Mobile 6.5.

Q: Is Mobile Starter available to phone makers via Bsqure only? Or also direct from Microsoft?
A: The Windows Phone 6 Starter Edition SKU is available to all direct partners. It is also available via MediaTek and BSquare.

Q: Which version of Office Mobile is part of one of the two Starter SKUs?
A: The current version of Office Mobile will ship in Windows Phone 6 Starter Edition. Office Mobile 2010 is currently available in beta form for Windows Phone 6.5. When Office Mobile 2010 ships, it will be made available to OEMs and distributors.

Q: Is this a stripped-down version of Windows Mobile 6.5? What’s not there that’s in the full fledged version?
A: The Windows Phone 6 Starter Edition SKU is offered in multi-language versions with and without Microsoft Office Mobile and supports 2G (GSM), 2.5G (CDMA2000 xRTT, EDGE, GPRS), CDMA (Rev A, EV-DO Revision A), and TD-SCDMA radios.

Q: Pricing?
A: We do not share pricing information for OEMs

Q: Will there be a Starter SKU for all Windows Mobile OSes going forward?
A: We have no announcements to make at this time.

Q: Have any phone makers signed up yet as customers?
A: Yes. OEMs will be launching products built on Windows Phone 6 Starter Edition this year.

While Microsoft did not answer questions about the price of the software, the information released today confirms the leak we received earlier, which suggests that the software will also in fact be free, as was suggested by that leak.

In many ways Microsoft’s move merely legitimizes the situation in China’s shanzai knock-off phone industry, that has been creating phones running pirated versions of Windows Mobile for years now, and places the OS on a competitive footing with Android in that arena.

Read more at ZDNet here.