Microsoft has announced that, rather than move into a hardware battle against Apple or BlackBerry manufacturer RIM and launch a much rumoured Windows Phone, the company will be merely rebranding the Windows Mobile OS moving forward.

The new OS and handsets that run it will now, say Microsoft, simply be referred to as Windows Phones in an attempt to give them a greater presence in store.

"Windows Mobile Device doesn't really work effectively anymore", Alfredo Patron, director of Mobile Communications Business EMEA, Microsoft told Pocket-lint in justification of why the company was going for the rebrand.

Microsoft is hoping that the decision to create a stronger brand presence will help it defend against the threat of users switching to Android or Symbian handsets, as the appeal of the operating system reaches new heights.

Microsoft confirmed to Pocket-lint that it will try to use the same strategy as it did with the Games for Windows after realising that PC games were struggling to find presence in game stores on the high street.

The move is also part of a bigger strategy with the latest mobile operating system announced at Mobile World Congress on Monday. The Windows Mobile 6.5 will introduce a number of new features including a new interface.

"Part of the new Windows Phone is that there will be a unified look", our man from Microsoft told us. "Manufacturer's will not be able to customise the interface as much as they have done in the past however will be able to make slight alterations here and there".