Over at xda-developers, Da_g gave us some information about the upcoming Windows mobile 7. Really interesting.
Here are some quotes:
No, COM5 is not WM7. It is a continuation of the WM 6.5.x code.
WM7 is a completely different tree.
Do not expect any current device to run WM7. It is certainly possible, but the OEM will have to go out of their way to code drivers/kernel for it, and it is not a likely thing. Very few current devices will receive such an update.
Snapdragon/OMAP3+ devices are likely to get WM7 support.
Anything older than that is not likely to get WM7 support and will likely be end-of-life'd with WM 6.6.
Remember, with all current "cooking" we are using code based on CE 5.x kernel, so is relatively easy to port to newer builds.
Once we move up to a CE 6.x or 7.x kernel, the same principles no longer apply. The entire set-up of the OEM part of the kernel and the Microsoft part of the kernel is different (better now, after WM7 it will be much easier to update the microsoft bits while keeping the same OEM bits) So do not expect any current device to be running WM7 in the future (although a select few may, as they are/will be used for test devices.)
Initial alphas of WM7 were based on CE6, but have been CE7 for about a year now.
As far as MS upgrading the kernel of WM to CE6, I think you misunderstand what's required, it's already done as far as MS is concerned. There is a tree with the same UI/UX, features, etc. as WM 6.5.x but based on the CE 6 core instead of CE 5. But the OEM needs to come in and re-code their stuff against it. Which I don't believe any of them are doing at this point in time. Maybe in the future... It's not like an upgrade from XP SP1 to XP SP2 where you can just drop in the new bits and hit the ground running..
It's more like an upgrade from XP x86 to XP x64. Same GUI, same functionality, but running on a different core, and none of the drivers work. So the OEM has to re-code their drivers. When/If that happens we can surely have a CE6 based WM build on that device. But given the history of most OEM's issuing major OS updates, I wouldn't hold my breath for it on current devices (the most recent cores like snapdragon/OMAP3+ being a possible exception)
And no, WM 6.6 wasn't a typo... But don't expect to start seeing builds of that until 6.5.x is polished up and we're into 2010 a bit.
The upgrade path for current devices has us staying on the CE 5.x kernel and the highest-tier devices (snapdragon and similar faster chips like tegra and omap3+) will be getting WM7. This is due to numerous features implemented in WM7 that require a higher end device than the current crop.
Nice isn't it? Only bad thing is that we now know that our devices(xperia, diamond, touch pro etc). Can't run this new windows mobile version until new drivers are made. And like you can read that will be never most likely. But from the other side when it's finally released I think everyone already got a new phone so should not be a big problem.
But this wasn't everything. He also told us something about a new cool feature from WM 7. Here's the quote:
Coolest feature to come with WM7/CE7 is the Location Framework, I think...
Now rather than guessing location from cell tower id, or gps (one or the other), Location Framework will take input from all radios on device (WiMax, WiFi, GPS, Cell, etc.) - aggregate information from all sources and use to constantly keep location awareness.
This will allow the device to constantly be aware of its location to some degree of accuracy, which opens up many possibilities for location aware applications that would otherwise require the GPS to be running constantly.
Also the compositing engine will be very nice, finally will have true compositing in WM, so can do nifty things like transparencies, blurring, etc (you can see some of this in the drop-down notification bar in WM 6.5.x - also in SIP input suggestions)
The new rendercore will make advanced vector based graphics engines like Flash and Silvercore a breeze, and XAML will make "porting" applications from one resolution to another a much more simple task than it is today