CNET reports that Microsoft has been telling its hardware and carrier partners that Windows Mobile 7 will not be coming out in early Q1 2009 as expected by some, but rather in the second half of 2009.
Early clues to the delay may have been the various job postings by Microsoft talking about development for Windows Mobile 7, but giving rather long time scales stretching well into 2009. Many observers have also questioned the need for bringing IE6 to Windows Mobile 6.1 when WM 7 was imminent. Now that this is no longer the case the need is obviously much clearer.
Paradoxically the delayed release of Windows Mobile 7 may benefit current manufacturers of Windows Mobile devices like HTC and Sony Ericsson, who are about to release very high end devices very soon. Many Windows Mobile users have spoken of holding of their purchases until Windows Mobile 7 came out, so as not to leave them with outdated devices. With WM6 still having at least 9 months of life left in it, this is clearly no longer the case.
On the other hand, this can not be seen as a disappointment by most others, as the technology in Windows Mobile 7, for example a centralized application store, seems clearly wanted. Hopefully the delay will allow 3rd party vendors such as Handango to step into the breach, much like HTC with its TouchFlo3D did UI wise.
Read more detail at CNET.com