More details emerge about Windows Phone Starter Edition

Neowin first broke the news that Microsoft would be offering up a starter edition of its software for mobile phones, as time has passed, a few more bits of details have begun to emerge about what the Starter Edition will truly offer.

Named Windows Mobile Starter Edition, the software will be targeted at OEMs building devices for new and emerging markets. Based on Windows Mobile 6, Starter Edition will come in two versions, one with Office Mobile and one without. Windows Mobile Starter Edition will also support 2G (GSM), 2.5G (EDGE, GPRS) and CDMA (Rev A, EV-DO Revision A) or TD-SCDMA. It's not yet clear whether 3G (GSM) will be supported.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley was able to obtain a few more details from a Microsoft spokesperson who shed a little more light on what consumers can expect from the platform.

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: 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 mostly providing more details to ideas that were currently circulating, it does confirm that this platform will launch this year along side Windows Phone Series 7. 

For more QnA answers check out Mary Jo's post.

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This seems like a huge mistake. Haven't they already established that they have largely broken application backwards compatibility between 6.5 and WM7. By releasing both of these they are really segmenting things.

Also started edition to me seems like the sort of handset that would make sense on lower end consumer grade machines. Those users could really gain from the WM7 interface changes.

I don't know, they shouldn't even bother releasing it at all but if they must then it should be a stripped down WM7. The only benefit I can see is 6.5 is designed for older hardware but with the way things are advancing todays top performers will be tomorrows mid range devices so why not just be patient and wait and eventually lower end hardware will be capable of running WM7. As it is noone with the market mindshare in respect to WM who will want to get a started edition of 6.5 when WM7 is out. Those on a budget will just stick to handsets from other manufacturers, businessed will probably get the existing 6.5 release and others will want WM7.

I was about to ask the same thing. That guy didn't answer it in any remote way.
I'm interested in learning what will be different from other versions.

Did I miss the part where this question actually got an answer?


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.

I noticed that as well. That "answer" doesn't even come close to actually answering the question. It barely even relates to the question!!

roadwarrior said,
I noticed that as well. That "answer" doesn't even come close to actually answering the question. It barely even relates to the question!!

Yea, saw that, got quite annoyed, the only question which i am even interested in having answered is avoided in such a way :p

burnblue said,
Did I miss the part where this question actually got an answer?
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.

Indeed. I curse the day the PR fvcktards started answering these questions.

Leonick said,

Yea, saw that, got quite annoyed, the only question which i am even interested in having answered is avoided in such a way :p

Yeah, I agree. I really hate when they do that. And that was the question I was interested in too... lol Figures...

Having a striped down phone with good parental controls is good for business. I can see younger kids getting these types of phones.

ccoltmanm said,
Having a striped down phone with good parental controls is good for business. I can see younger kids getting these types of phones.

Correction: I can see parents wanting to give these to their kids, but the phone quickly gaining the reputation of not being cool among those kids. ;)

Northgrove said,

Correction: I can see parents wanting to give these to their kids, but the phone quickly gaining the reputation of not being cool among those kids. ;)

I dunno about that, lots of people around here still think their the majority market for phones or even smartphones. That's not the case. The vast majority of consumers that buy phones be it dumb or smart like the iPhone aren't into doing any sorta real powerful computing. The people asking for the full power of a PC in a phone are very very few.

Lots of kids and even older (20-30yo) who buy phones still use them for the same basic list of things, calls, txt/mms, music and photos. If you look at the total % of phones sold, say smartphones only vs the % that is used for browsing online the two don't match.

While people are starting to use them to get online, they're still not the majority. That's why Kids/teens who can do the basics plus tossing in some facebook and twitter, and you have everything covered. It just needs to look cool, UI and hardware both, and have the right price and it'll sell well.

GP007 said,

I dunno about that, lots of people around here still think their the majority market for phones or even smartphones. That's not the case. The vast majority of consumers that buy phones be it dumb or smart like the iPhone aren't into doing any sorta real powerful computing. The people asking for the full power of a PC in a phone are very very few.

Lots of kids and even older (20-30yo) who buy phones still use them for the same basic list of things, calls, txt/mms, music and photos. If you look at the total % of phones sold, say smartphones only vs the % that is used for browsing online the two don't match.

While people are starting to use them to get online, they're still not the majority. That's why Kids/teens who can do the basics plus tossing in some facebook and twitter, and you have everything covered. It just needs to look cool, UI and hardware both, and have the right price and it'll sell well.


I was referring to parental controls being annoying to kids, as in 13+. :)

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 25 2010, 6:22pm :

GP007 said,

I dunno about that, lots of people around here still think their the majority market for phones or even smartphones. That's not the case. The vast majority of consumers that buy phones be it dumb or smart like the iPhone aren't into doing any sorta real powerful computing. The people asking for the full power of a PC in a phone are very very few.

Lots of kids and even older (20-30yo) who buy phones still use them for the same basic list of things, calls, txt/mms, music and photos. If you look at the total % of phones sold, say smartphones only vs the % that is used for browsing online the two don't match.

While people are starting to use them to get online, they're still not the majority. That's why Kids/teens who can do the basics plus tossing in some facebook and twitter, and you have everything covered. It just needs to look cool, UI and hardware both, and have the right price and it'll sell well.

Yeah, I agree. I think the biggest deal to those kids are going to be looks though... So hopefully Microsoft redid the UI as well... I'm not sure what to expect with it being based on Windows Mobile 6...