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Something had to be done about Microsoft’s aging Windows Mobile 6.5 platform now that we’ve learned about its upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series. MS can’t kill the platform outright, because many phones still rely on it and they will likely be sold for some time. Instead, according to Long Zhen, Microsoft will be renaming Windows Mobile 6.5 phones as Windows Phone Classic.

The name change won’t take effect until 7 Series phones hit retail sometime later this year. Zhen also reports that Classic phones will focus more on enterprise and emerging markets, while 7 Series will take on the consumer front.

The change may seem minor, but it marks the beginning of the end for the Windows Mobile brand. Microsoft honestly can’t get away from the brand fast enough — over the past few years it has symbolized the company’s consistent failure to jump into the modern smartphone market. The name change will allow MS to wipe the slate clean. I’m sure the company is also hoping that 7 Series’ gorgeous UI will be enough to make consumers forget just how long it’s taken MS to figure out mobile phones in a post-iPhone world.

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