Microsoft forced HTC to downgrade color palette to 16bit on Windows Phone 7 handsets ?

A Microsoft support contractor/employee posted earlier this week that the color banding issue experienced by HTC users after the firmware update that came along side NoDo update was the result of Microsoft’s decision to force HTC to downgrade their device’s color depth to 16bit because it was apparently set to 32bit before. Let’s just say that I have some serious doubts about this claim. Anyway, here’s the full statement:

Hello,

When HTC launched the HD7 and Trophy they upgraded the color depth to 32 bit, which was outside of Microsoft’s design requirements of 16bit. Microsoft implemented the design standards to help ensure the best possible and consistent experience for all customers on all Windows Phones. To continue to deliver a stable and consistent customer experience, HTC returned the devices to the 16 bit design requirements as part of the March (7.0.7390) update.

The color palette change should not make a noticeable change to most customers experience on their Windows Phone 7. Microsoft’s goal is to ensure that the device is performing as optimally as possible – and as always their engineering teams continue to investigate the opportunities for future improvements.

Thank you for your contribution to the forums.

First, let me just say that the 16bit color depth requirement in WP7 is true. Only Mango will allow third-party applications to run in 32bit if the developer decides to force it. Now my issue with this whole situation is that forcing the OS to run in 32bit (via the registry) results in a serious performance hit. I invite anyone who claims that this isn’t the case to shoot a before and after video to see the difference. I’ve done it on an Omnia 7 & a friends HTC 7 Trophy. Both device’s take a nose dive in terms framerate, especially in third party apps. Before the NoDo update HTC’s devices didn’t exhibit any banding and performed without any performance issues as you can see in the the video after the break:

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Sony Ericsson: No Window Phone 7 handsets if the OS doesn’t take off

Just in case you didn’t get the memo earlier; Sony Ericsson isn’t going to build a Windows Phone 7 device anytime soon. According to Sony Ericsson’s CTO the company won’t be making any products if the operating system doesn’t take off. From a business perspective this is understandable given the company’s heavy Android push with it’s latest smartphone’s, the Android PlayStation development suite and the Sony NGP. Windows Phone 7 has yet to prove itself in the market and Microsoft’s total lack of communication around sales can only mean that things aren’t really catching up yet.

Continue reading Sony Ericsson: No Window Phone 7 handsets if the OS doesn’t take off →