Following the announced delay of Windows Mobile 7, an intermediary upgrade step has been confirmed. While visiting Australia for Liberation Day, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke of the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade for next year in his roadmap.
In talking about Windows Mobile 6.5, Steve Ballmer did not go in to specifics but did hint at an improvement in the interface and flow of the software. It is believed, however, that this will be the first release to contain the reported Zune software integration instead of the much delayed Windows Mobile 7 release.
Though there was no specific date given for Windows Mobile 7, it was believed to be scheduled for as late as the third quarter of 2010, two years away.
Sources close to Microsoft have indicated to Neowin that Windows Mobile 6.5 is currently being readied for device partners who should receive copies within the next month. It's possible that 6.5 could be ready in 2009 Q1.