Leak: Next Version of Windows Mobile to be Linux-Based?

A job listing found today at Volt is raising eyebrows in both the Redmond area and the open-source Linux world. Volt is a major recruitment resource for Microsoft, with the vast majority of jobs in the Seattle area being for that company. That’s why when a Redmond-based employer looking to hire software developers for “the next version of a popular Operating System for Mobile Phones and PDAs”, and with a “proven background in UI design, specifically in the Gentoo Linux environment”, we took notice.

When emailed, Jan Sorken of Microsoft’s Mobile Devices unit stated that while he couldn’t comment on the job listing, or even if the next version of Windows Mobile will be Linux-based, he would admit that due to the unique nature of the Windows Mobile OS, that “any established underlying OS is on the table at this point. We’ve taken the current framework about as far as it can go” with WinMo 6.

This would make an odd choice for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Microsoft’s history of contempt for the Linux (and even the open-source) ecosphere. That being said, it was only a year and a half ago that MS hired Dan Robbins, founder of the Gentoo Linux project, for a short-lived stint at its new Linux lab. It’s possible Big Redmond got a taste for Linux at that time, and liked it.

Volt job listing [Volt]