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Exclusive: Microsoft will introduce Windows Mobile Starter Edition at MWC

Neowin understands that Microsoft plans to offer a new edition of Windows Mobile on Monday at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2010.

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.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft is looking to broaden Windows Mobile licensing to a wider audience. Microsoft recently announced a partnership with MediaTek to drive growth in smartphone sales for emerging markets over the next 12 months. MediaTek has worked with Microsoft to couple its hardware with the Windows Mobile 6 software. Neowin believes this is one of many working relationships that Microsoft will form to push Windows Mobile 6 or Windows Mobile Starter Edition to emerging markets over the next year.

It's not immediately clear whether Microsoft plans to drop Windows Mobile 6.x for consumers and move it straight to emerging markets as Windows Mobile Starter Edition. Microsoft plans to introduce the Windows Phone 7 Series of devices at a press conference held by CEO Steve Ballmer on Monday. Microsoft officials did not return emails requesting comment on Windows Mobile Starter Edition.

Neowin will be attending Mobile World Congress 2010 and live blogging the Microsoft event with Long Zheng from istartedsomething.com. The conference will also be available as a live webcast from https://www.microsoft.com/news/windowsphone

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