Jeremy Kirk at InfoWorld:
Microsoft, which has been carving a larger slice of the mobile device OS market, is developing a new product, code-named “Crossbow,” which will incorporate features such as instant messaging, a Microsoft executive confirmed Monday.
Crossbow will have strong links with Office 2007 and Exchange 12, Microsoft’s pending new office application suite and e-mail server, said Pieter Knook, senior vice president for the mobile devices and telecoms sector. Crossbow would be the successor to Windows Mobile 5.0, released in May 2005.
Crossbow will take aim at the Symbian and BlackBerry operating systems. The OS will contain a new mobile version of Office Communicator, an Office 2007 enterprise communications application, that includes instant messaging on public and private networks, Knook said.
“As the Office  PC versions of those applications improve, we’re tracking that on the Windows Mobile side,” Knook said.
Knook said it’s premature to say when Crossbow would be released, but that the company plans for an annual mobile OS release.
Microsoft is gaining ground with Windows Mobile 5.0, but Symbian is dominant, said Nick Spencer, a research analyst with Canalys.com.
Near the end of 2005, Microsoft held a 16 percent share in the worldwide mobile OS market compared to 63 percent for Symbian, 10 percent for Access Co.’s PalmSource, 7 percent for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and 4.5 percent for others, including Linux-based ones.
On the question of dates, Bink.nu points to a Microsoft presentation that gives (apparently inadvertently) more information on Crossbow and its successor, Photon. The net: