Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series, Not Only For Smartphones?

Previews of Microsoft's latest mobile platform, Windows Phone 7, have been mixed until now and largely futile because the platform can still undergo a number of changes over the forthcoming months.

One thing though that left us puzzled was the decision by Microsoft to change the name of its main mobile platform from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone, as if to strengthen the fact that it is focusing on the (smart)phone market rather than trying to tackle the larger mobile sector.

Ironically, and this is something that we mentioned a few days ago as Intel and Nokia announced their collaboration on the Meego project, Microsoft could find a valuable supporter as ARM (and its army of partners).

Many observers have been asking whether Microsoft shouldn't come up with an ARM-compliant Windows 7 but after seeing Windows Phone 7 Series in action, it looks as if the successor to the Windows Mobile franchise has eliminated the need for such a resource-hogging, time-consuming fork.

Already, all recent Windows Mobile smartphones run on ARM-based processors. With Intel already implicitly expressing its preference for a Linux-based platform for a foreseeable future, with Meego, maybe Microsoft should fall in ARM's arms, literally.

Should Microsoft go down this path, we could see more devices with the Windows logo slapped on them but with ARM, rather than Intel inside, and with a more pronounced Windows-esque feel.

But this also means that Microsoft may also need to change the name of Windows Phone 7 to something slightly different and remove some restrictions like the need for a four-point touchscreen, something that's superfluous on, say, a smartbook.

The bottom line though is that Microsoft is likely to lose out on Licence fees with Windows Phone 7 Series ones costing significantly less than say Windows 7 Home Premium.

But then, the millions of devices that it could potentially sell could help sweeten the fall in revenues and that's before taking into account the vibrant ecosystem that could be spurred by a Windows Phone 7 series environment.