Ballmer may have wanted it to be out yesterday
, but it looks like the initial release of Windows Mobile 7
may now finally, actually be in sight. According to ZDNet Taiwan
, the mobile OS is now on track for a release to OEMs for testing (the so-called "Maldives" program) sometime in the first quarter of 2010, and will be launched publicly sometime in the third quarter of the year (or about a year after the release of Windows Mobile 6.5
) -- all of which more or less lines up with earlier rumors of a release to manufacturing in Spring 2010
. If past history is any indication, however, it seems likely that the earliest builds of the OS could be circulating around the usual channels well before that -- probably right on the heels of the release to OEMs.