Despite their best efforts with Windows Mobile 6.5, Microsoft’s smartphone platform continued to fall behind in mindshare faced with Android, iPhone OS and webOS, and the latest rumors are that the company plans an incremental update in order to tide us over until Windows Mobile 7. Digitimes’ industry sources reckon that Microsoft plan to release Windows Mobile 6.6 (codenamed Maldives) in February 2010, and while no specific event is mentioned it seems likely that such a launch would take place at Mobile World Congress 2010.
As for what WM6.6 brings to the table, the biggest improvement is said to be support for capacitive touchscreens. Right now only the HTC HD2 runs Windows Mobile with a capacitive display, and HTC had to engineer that support into WM6.5 themselves. Official support for the technology would make it easier for manufacturers to add the popular touchscreen technology to their model range, and hopefully maintain some platform momentum until Windows Mobile 7 arrives; the sources claim Microsoft is considering delaying WM7 until the end of 2011, rather than the end-2010 they have previously indicated.