Microsoft talks Windows Phone 7 features, native code, multi-tasking and update process


Tweakers.net had the chance to sit down with Microsoft’s Charlie Kindle earlier this month to discuss Windows Phone 7‘s current state and what can be expected in the near future. Microsoft is clear with the fact the Windows Phone 7 won’t be feature complete at launch (no copy/past etc..) and that the company’s goal is (Google translation..sorry):

“Whatever we do, we want extremely well. That is a change from previous Windows Mobile versions, where we tried to have every functionality. Now, some things are missing at the launch, but the important thing for us user experience. Everything must be equal to the unit work properly. then look at how we can extend that functionality. “

Kindel also confirms that OS updates will be provided directly by Microsoft via Over The Air updates (if it’s a small update) or the Zune desktop software for big ones:

“We want everyone the same version of the OS. It is not like thirty versions of your operating system in circulation.” “We will do that through the Zune desktop software or over the air,” said Kindel. “Whichever way we use depends on the size of the update.”

One interesting thing is that talk about the extendability of the Hubs. Microsoft has already stated & demonstrated the ability to plug in third party applications into already existing hubs but according to Kindel’s it’s not clear if this will be possible with the initial release (bummer!):

“In time you can, but for now we focus on other issues,”

On the subject of native code applications Kindel clearly says that only a handful of developers (and OEMs) will have the right to develop such applications. As an example, Adobe is currently allowed to do so to develop their Flash plug in for IE Mobile on WP7.

“Well, we give certain developers access to native APIs, as needed. This will not happen often, but we do so for example, Adobe have the opportunity to Flash for Internet Explorer development. This will not happen with the development tools that developers normally have.” Kindel denies that large developers are allowed to use more APIs. “This is what has in recent weeks a wrong impression created in the media.”

In regards to Multi-Tasking the initial release will only allow native applications to have access to this functionality but Kindel assured that third-party apps (like navigation software..) will have the ability to Multi-Task in a future update (but he didn’t indicate the time frame..):

“For example if you have an application in the background a GPS position to other applications, can pass, it is required that the application can run in the background. For such scenarios, we build multi-tasking again.”

I personally think that it’s clear that Microsoft is trying to do everything possible to ship Windows Phone 7 in time for the holiday season which means that cutting non-essential features (in the eyes) like copy-paste/restricted multi-tasking is the only way for them to be on time. We have to remember that Windows Phone 7 as we know has only started a little bit more than a year ago and that full blown OSes don’t get build from scratch in such a short time. Will it work? It’s too early to say. But let’s hope for the sake of competition that Microsoft is doing everything behind the scene to attract as much developers support as possible (now is the time, especially in light of what’s happening between Apple and Adobe with the newly release iPhone OS4 SDK) because this is what the platform needs to succeed. Let’s also hope the OS updates won’t be too far apart (I’m hearing every 6 months..).

Source: Tweakers.net [Thanks for the heads up Josh]

  • hvoltage

    Freudian typo: “On the subject of native code application Kindel clear says that only a handful of developers(and OEM) will have the right to develop sucks applications.” (sucks applications).LOL!

  • hvoltage

    Freudian typo: “On the subject of native code application Kindel clear says that only a handful of developers(and OEM) will have the right to develop sucks applications.” (sucks applications).LOL!

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com/tips-contact/ M. Daou

    Haha! thanks for the heads up!

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com/tips-contact/ M. Daou

    Haha! thanks for the heads up!

  • Murani

    The two things i’d like to see added first is copy & paste and third party app access for streaming services like Pandora.

    I do think the Zune, game and app experience and the hubs will keep people more than occupied long enough for updates to start rolling out. That is the best thing about Microsoft delivering updates directly and not having to worry about carrier tweaks and optimization.

  • Murani

    The two things i’d like to see added first is copy & paste and third party app access for streaming services like Pandora.

    I do think the Zune, game and app experience and the hubs will keep people more than occupied long enough for updates to start rolling out. That is the best thing about Microsoft delivering updates directly and not having to worry about carrier tweaks and optimization.