This might be hyperbole, but I’m going to claim Windows Phone is the most poorly executed rebrand in recorded history. Not only are there two versions with really long, partly nonsensical names, but now comes word of a third with an even longer name: Windows Phone 6 Starter Edition.
According to Bsquare, the global distributor for Windows Phone, this new old version will be available to new and emerging markets with or without Microsoft Office Mobile. Phone support includes 2G (GSM), 2.5G (CDMA2000 xRTT, EDGE, GPRS), CDMA (Rev A, EV-DO Revision A) and TD-SCDMA radios.
Though not stated, I’m assuming the numbering means this is just a renamed Windows Mobile 6, not be confused with Windows Phone Classic, which is Windows Mobile 6.5, and Windows Phone 7 Series, which is all-new. On one hand, I understand calling it “Starter Edition” keeps it in line with the Windows desktop versions for new and emerging markets. On the other hand, why even bother tacking on “edition”? “Windows Phone 6 Starter” wasn’t enough? Better yet, why not start fresh and call it “Windows Phone Starter”?
Now that I’m seeing the rebrand “strategy” come together, I think it’s just the numbering that bothers me. I could have let the naming slide with Starter, Classic, and Series, much like the various versions of Windows 7. The difference is, all those versions of Windows are still numbered 7. Admittedly, that naming system isn’t ideal either, but the Windows Phone branding is all over the place.