Windows Phone 7 Series

A collection of a few of the widely perceived negative aspects of announcements about the new Windows mobile OS – bearing in mind that a lot of this stuff is very far from finalised and may well change by release time anyway. Personally I don’t see a most of these as being bad things for a mobile OS (but I am an iPhone owner so used to all of them), which is aimed squarely at the public – for ‘expert’ users some of these things may not be ideal, but most people are not ‘expert’ users – and they don’t want to be, they just want a phone which works plus some nifty features. Having said that – I do find it funny that all the points below are (or have been) criticisms of the iPhone.

For a good overview of what’s in store for Windows Phone 7 Series (clunky name), check out Windows Phone 7 – what’s in and what’s out (The Register)

Hardware requirements

First up the news that you won’t just be able to upgrade older handsets running Windows Mobile 6.5 – Microsoft are setting out some pretty specific hardware requirements (see Windows Phone 7 hardware requirements confirmed, two WP7 phones and an HTC HD3 rumor, Windows Phone 7 and the End of Hardware Choice and Windows Phone 7 blocks out popular HTC model, blames buttons for more details). Hopefully this tighter hardware control will help developers (both Microsoft’s OS devs and 3rd party application devs) who for years have struggled catering for and supporting with an unknown hardware target – much as with the Microsoft desktop OS’s.

No Flash (at least not at first)

In this blog post: Flash Player 10.1 and Windows Phone 7, Mike Chambers (Adobe) says

Adobe and Microsoft are working together to bring Flash Player 10.1 to Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Phone 7 Series. I don’t have an eta or other specifics right now, but it is something that both Adobe and Microsoft are working closely together on.

I expect it will happen – unlike Apple

Microsoft has “no objection” to adding Flash, CEO Steve Ballmer adds.

(from Windows Phone 7 official, lacks Flash and multitasking)

But just as a slight cautionary tale – don’t forget that in March 2008, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen announced Flash for the iPhone – and look how that worked out… Adobe CEO announces Flash for iPhone

Closed model application distribution (at least to the public)

Confirmed: Marketplace will be the only way to get apps on Windows Phone 7 Series (Engadget)

Marketplace membership for developers costs $99 a year, no fees for developers to update their apps, nor fees for users to download them. If a dev wants to post a free, ad-supported app, they’ve only got two hurdles: the $99 fee and approval by Microsoft. You’ll be able to browse and buy apps and games through the Zune desktop client on your PC. Applications must be pre-approved by Microsoft, and the company collects 30 per cent of any revenue (for paid apps).

There is also apparently a plan for app deployment outside of this model “enterprise customers will be able to deploy apps to employees outside the consumer-facing Marketplace – details on that will be released in the future” (via) but no details at this time.

No copy & paste

It took a while for Apple to bring C&P to the iPhone – generally thought to be because they were trying to come up with a really good way to implement it on a touch screen (which they have) and weren’t willing to rush a solution. Wonder why the Windows Phone 7 Series won’t have copy and paste – is it a similar engineering issue for Microsoft (who are not exactly known for sweating the details), or is there an attempt at a paradigm shift away from C&P (they are not really known for that either)?

No Multitasking

No ‘traditional’ multitasking – it seems to be similar in approach to the iPhone (where some Apple apps such as the iPod and Mail can run in the background, but the majority of apps, including all 3rd party apps, cannot). For more details see Windows Phone 7 Series multitasking: the real deal and Is There App Multitasking in Windows Phone 7?

Written by , Thursday 18th March 2010


Matt Lindsay

March 22, 2010

No C&P… amazing! They’ve had it since about Windows Mobile 3… and now they’re taking it out. Ace!

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