Windows Phone 7 Behind the Scenes

Qualcomm senior vice president Torrey Harmon shows Microsoft's Terry Myerson a development board running Windows Phone 7 using one of the company's newest chips.

Cnet’s Ina Fried has post a really interesting behind the scenes article about Windows Phone 7 today. You will get a really peek at what is going on at Microsoft now that Windows Phone 7 is nearing RTM status. Lots of optimisms and pessimism and you will really get to realise that MS is playing big and that even they aren’t sure if it will be a success. There’s some talk about the lack of features in the first release and the reasons why the company’s primary focus is the user experience (boot times, framerate, etc..). According to Microsoft’s Terry Myerson, it will take 5 years (starting oct 2008) for for MS to get back back to the op in the Mobile market (if WP7 doesn’t fail..). Here’s a really interesting quote about Qualcomm‘s relationship the Windows Phone teams :

As the work day draws to a close, the hours-long meeting between Qualcomm and Microsoft engineers beaks up. Myerson meets in his office with Torrey Harmon, a Qualcomm senior vice president. The conversation is informal–a mix of some subtle salesmanship and small talk and venting about some of the project’s more challenging aspects and people.

Between trading jabs at various partners and competitors, the two turn their attention to their own companies’ partnership, discussing how they might further reduce the amount of friction between the teams working on the chips at Qualcomm and those working on the software at Microsoft.

“We want you to see us as an extension of your team and we’re trying hard to figure out how to do that,” Harmon said. Qualcomm recently hired one of the members of the Windows 95/98 development team to help the company in that effort. “We’ve made a lot of progress and still we’ve got a ways to go. We’d like just to look like another one of your technology groups, that’s our goal.”

As the conversation continued, they talked about the battery life issues on a particular prototype. “Usually it runs out by about 2 o’clock,” Harmon said, although, that’s better than before a recent software build. “It was running out at about 11 o’clock when I first got it. It’s better already than it was.”

As it often does, Myerson’s mood this day shifted quickly between optimism and pessimism. “I just want to survive this launch,” Myerson told Harmon. “If I can get out there and get some respect, for lack of a better word, from consumers, everything will get easier. Right now things are hard.”

And some talk with Samsung about XBOX Live cheating and the need to have unique IDs for each phone:

It’s not, he insisted, part of some big plan by the Windows Phone group to control its hardware partners. Rather, it’s a demand that comes from Microsoft’s Xbox developers. It seems they want to make sure that if someone is cheating on the Xbox Live program that they can shut down the cheater.

“This will be the first non-Xbox with access to Xbox Live,” he said. “No one has an achievement on Xbox that they didn’t earn. It’s a trusted system, so, the Xbox team, one of the conditions they had for us to be able to put Xbox achievements and badges into the system is that we need to put certain security measures in.”

Check out the whole thing here.