Last night, the UK's Inquirer announced that Windows Mobile will be changing its name to "Windows Phone". Microsoft confirmed the Windows Phone branding to Betanews today, but said that "Windows Mobile" is not going anywhere.
"Microsoft started using the term, Windows Phone, within the industry at Mobile World Congress on February 16, 2009," a spokesman noted today. "It is a simple way for consumers to identify the new generation of Windows phones that will be available this fall through our mobile partners; and will include new services on them such as My Phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile."
The operating system will still be known as Windows Mobile, it's just the platform with all of the new bells and whistles that will be called "Windows Phone." This unification of OS, hardware and brand is similar to what RIM and Apple have done with BlackBerry and iPhone.
"Consumers will start to see a change in marketing communications including retail with the Windows Mobile 6.5 launch," the spokesman said. "We will still use the term 'Windows Mobile' to identify the operating system releases (e.g. - 6.1, 6.5)."