So at this point we're ready to accept the fact that Windows Mobile 7 probably is further along than we thought. One recent slide leak by UX Evangelist shows it going to testers later this year, with a launch in April 2010.
Bolstering that argument are a couple more of those slides decoded by ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley, who dives into the architecture of future versions of Windows Mobile. The slides show what may be the next version of Windows CE, from which Windows Mobile is built. This new version of Win CE may prove to be "Cashmere" (named for a city in Washington state).
What's that mean to you, the end user? We point you to Slide No. 2: Built into Cashmere would be support for FlashLite (and beyond, Foley says, the Flash support currently built into the new versions of Internet Explorer). An improved connections manager (huzzah!), built-in Live Messenger (finally) and support for those non-touch gestures Foley previously wrote about would all be onboard.
So will all of this end up in Windows Mobile 7? Foley doesn't know for sure, and Microsoft isn't telling. If Cashmere isn't used to build Windows Mobile 7, it's possible, she says, that the "Chelan" version of Win CE is being prepped. And with it would come IE7 support, Silverlight (which it's been said before would be in the next version of Windows Mobile), better ActiveSync (um, yay), and a host of other features.
Basically what we have here are a bunch of possible future features spilled onto a table, albeit wrapped up in nice little packages. What exactly will make it into Windows Mobile 7 is still anybody's guess. But we've got a good look now at what the future may hold.