A phone runs the current build of Windows Phone Operating System 7.0 at the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  (Source:

Ahead of the MIX 2010 conference, Microsoft's developer guidelines have reportedly leaked. The bad news is that there's no support for third party native apps. The good news is that multitasking may be supported.  (Source: WMPoweruser)
Info on multitasking, resources, and languages pop up

Windows Phone 7 Series hopes to continue Microsoft's recent success that began with Windows 7 for PCs.  The new mobile OS, set to air this holiday season, scraps past efforts entirely.  In its place is a colorful operating system quite unlike anything else on the market.  While most phone makers aspire to adopt a look similar to the popular iPhone with chiclet icons on a grid, the Win7 phone instead features deeper nesting of information, bright flat icons, and oversized text.

One of the biggest questions surrounding the brand new OS is what kind of apps it will be able to support.  Microsoft is set to officially release most of these details at the Mix 2010 developers conference (March 15-17), but they have reportedly leaked early.

According to the leaked documents obtained by
WMPoweruser, the operating system (officially dubbed Windows Phone OS 7.0, or WPOS7.0 for short) will be built on a mix of Silverlight (Microsoft competitor to Adobe's Flash), XNA (the loop-based multi-platform game development tools previously used on the Xbox 360 and Zune), and the .NET Compact Framework.

Reportedly native applications are only allowed to be made by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and mobile operators.  That raises questions of whether Opera Mini and Mozilla's Fennec browsers will make it to the new OS.  It also raises some serious questions for Microsoft's app developers if it decides to stick with this policy.

Native applications are applications written to run directly on the system, as opposed to running via an emulation layer.  Most non-native apps are written in a language like Java.

Apple now allows native applications and Palm's webOS is rumored to be adding native application support this year.  Google has perhaps been the most supportive of native applications, offering a NDK (native development kit) that allows developers to write part or all of their apps in native code to increase performance.

Even the developers who can write native apps will be constricted to a limited set of development APIs and will have to get their app approved by Microsoft in a tightly controlled process similar to Apple.

A piece of good news is that the OS will reportedly
be capable of supporting preemptive multitasking, something Apple's iPhone still doesn't completely support.  It's unclear, though, whether Microsoft will allow its native apps to backgrounded (which would allow you to run multiple programs at once, similar to the computer).  Multitasking was a major selling point of webOS and Android phones, but it also caused anger among some customers for slowing down phone response at times.

In the document Microsoft writes, "As a preemptive multitasking operating system (OS), Windows Phone OS 7.0 supports multiple processes running simultaneously on the system. There is no limit to the number of processes that can run on the phone. The only limit is the amount of available system resources."

Microsoft intends for its WPOS7.0 apps to primarily developed in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Express Blend along with a soon-to-be-released new Windows Phone emulator.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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