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

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.



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WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By therealnickdanger on 2/18/2010 9:56:42 AM , Rating: 5
I have a Touch and a Touch Diamond, and I can do just about everything from Youtube to Excel to Internet radio while checking Facebook and e-mail and texting - at the same time! I have no Flash support (neither does anyone else), but I can use Skyfire if I need to visit a Flash-heavy website. It would be absurd if the new OS was unable to do at LEAST all of this.

The new interface is sexy, but if I have to buy "apps" to do what I can already do with my current phones, where's the incentive?




RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By aebiv on 2/18/2010 10:13:51 AM , Rating: 2
I know huh? For us 6.1/6.5 users this is looking more and more like a downgrade.


RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By Smilin on 2/18/2010 1:17:47 PM , Rating: 5
Bullcrap.

I'm a big MS fan but WM 6.x is the worst OS they've ever made.

If WP7 shares any of the zune interface or OS features it will most definately be a massive upgrade.


RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By bhieb on 2/18/2010 1:33:06 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, the only reason it is usable now is because of the HEAVY modifications by the OEM's like HTC to hide all of it's flaws. Out of the box it is, and always has been, a slow piece of crap if you ask me (and I've owned 3 due to easy OWA sync and my utter distaste of RIM).


RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By B3an on 2/19/2010 5:51:04 AM , Rating: 2
I've got 6.5 on my Xperia X1 and i use custom ROMs because 6.5 and 6.1 are poor, and amazingly bad to use as touch screens without heavy mods.

7.0 looks like a MASSIVE upgrade, from seeing images and reading about it, it seems like one of the biggest jumps in any phone OS that i can remember, espeically when comparing it to 6.5.


RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By aebiv on 2/18/2010 2:53:25 PM , Rating: 2
I've never had issue with the past 3 HTC devices that I upgraded to 6.5. I believe the new user interface certainly fixes much of the "ugliness" without losing the compatibility with apps and deployment.

While I'll agree with you the new interface on 7 is super slick, and is great for the average consumer, this is a kick in the teeth on the corporate end.

As far as it being slow, I'm not sure what you were doing wrong, but I can open Opera 10 b3 and view pages faster than any other full browser on other platforms.


RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By corduroygt on 2/18/2010 10:25:32 AM , Rating: 5
Usability > Features

That's why the iPhone and Android are mopping the floor with Windows mobile. Thankfully, Microsoft realized this and WM7 is a step in the right direction.

I could do more with my old phone than the iPhone, but I actually do more with the iPhone because it's much more convenient and easier to use.


RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By aebiv on 2/19/2010 10:21:59 AM , Rating: 2
I believe WinMo still sells many more phones than Android...

And what was the last version of WinMo you used?


RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By MrX8503 on 2/19/2010 4:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
What good are those features in 6.1/6.5 if its a nightmare to use?

I own the Touch Diamond and yes I can do all of those things, but its just utterly painful. So downright painful that I don't even bother.

This is why WinMo is getting tossed around like a ragdoll, but WinMo 7 looks very promising.


RE: WM6.1 HTC Touch Diamond
By Johnmcl7 on 2/21/2010 8:58:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have no Flash support (neither does anyone else


The N900/maemo 5 has supported full flash since its launch and Android is expected to have it soon. Given AT's frequent criticism of the S60 platform and in need of an overhaul, it's surprising that they've completely ignored the N900 which offers all of the improvements suggested and more.

John


WPOS
By nafhan on 2/18/2010 10:26:45 AM , Rating: 5
Did anyone else notice that WPOS could also stand for Windows Piece of S***? :)
Anyway, happy with my Zune and I'm looking forward to see what they do with WPOS 7 once a consumer device is released later this year.




RE: WPOS
By oab on 2/18/2010 11:27:17 AM , Rating: 2
That reminds me of when the two right-wing parties in Canada united. The Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative party merged to form the "Canadian Conservative Alliance", which if you stuck Party on the end of it (as it is a political party after all) was pronounced "Crap". Fortunately for them they changed it.


RE: WPOS
By oab on 2/18/2010 11:29:22 AM , Rating: 2
Minor history correction, this happened BEFORE the right united, when the Reform party changed to the Canadian Alliance.


RE: WPOS
By Helbore on 2/18/2010 12:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
How does CCAP spell crap?


RE: WPOS
By Azsen on 2/18/2010 6:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I thought that too. Maybe it was Canadian Republican Alliance Party?


RE: WPOS
By troysavary on 2/18/2010 8:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
He missed a word. It was Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party, as it was an early attempt to merge the Conservative Party with the Reform Party, although at the time, the Conservative party rejected the offer from the Reform Party. They eventually just went with the name Canadian Alliance. Later when the merger did happen, the kept the Progressive Conservative name the the Conservative party was going by as that was more familiar to Canadians, although it was pretty much a takeover of the party by the former Reform Party.


What a shame
By inighthawki on 2/18/2010 11:51:37 AM , Rating: 2
I was really looking forward to doing some nice native programming for windows mobile. I have a zune hd now and as a developer, the one thing that REALLY holds it back is that you are required to use XNA/C#, as opposed to C/C++. I know it probably won't change but I really hope they change their mind...




RE: What a shame
By Spivonious on 2/18/2010 2:05:19 PM , Rating: 3
What can native C++ do that managed C# cannot?


RE: What a shame
By axias41 on 2/18/2010 4:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
Run faster?


RE: What a shame
By inighthawki on 2/18/2010 8:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
Besides the massive performance difference on a mobile platform, I also greatly enjoy the syntax and raw power of pointers in C/C++ far more than in C#. C# is not by any means a bad language, but C/C++ in my mind is far superior. Also this is obviously not a problem with the language itself (and i don't know if this is going to be the same on win mo 7 like on the zune hd) but if the device needs to be restarted to run non-native applications, it will be a serious let down


RE: What a shame
By omnicronx on 2/19/2010 9:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
Is this really that big of an issue right now? While some of the greatest WinMo apps are written in native code, most of these apps also look and feel like they are from 1995. Give MS some time, until they can map all the new gui api's similar to what Google has done with their NDK, it will be a BAD thing for the platform, regardless of issues with speed.

I do wonder what the OEM restriction will be though, I don't see why MS would stop OEM's from including 3rd party apps like Opera/Fennec as it makes absolutely no sense to allow OEM developed apps, but not apps that OEM's want that they did not make. I think MS just wants the Q/A burden to be on the OEM's for now until they can find a better solution.


Incorrect
By noirsoft on 2/18/2010 9:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
C# is a managed language, not a native language, which would be C/C++. So, all the talk about C# and Silverlight and .net is referring to the available managed application layer. The restrictions on native code would be for anything going beyond that.




RE: Incorrect
By OnyxNite on 2/18/2010 11:26:24 AM , Rating: 2
What is incorrect? If I read the article correctly it essentially states that people will be able to freely develop managed code applications (such as those developed in C#) via Silverlight, XNA, and the .Net compact framework. While native code applications (C/C++) would be possible for OEMs and mobile operators and would require the apps to be approved by Microsoft. I don't see how this contradicts what you said.


RE: Incorrect
By inighthawki on 2/18/2010 11:49:33 AM , Rating: 2
Go read the article again, nowhere in it does it say that any of those things you mentioned are native applications


RE: Incorrect
By jvillaro on 2/18/2010 12:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
On the .NET platform, you can use C++ to make managed and unmanaged apps


OEM
By mfenn on 2/18/2010 10:44:57 AM , Rating: 3
OEM = original equipment manufacturer




Fix this DT
By oab on 2/18/2010 11:23:56 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
A piece of good news is that the OS will reportedly support be capable of supporting preemptive multitasking, something Apple's iPhone still doesn't completely support.

I think you mean "A piece of good news is that the OS will reportedly be capable of supporting preemptive multitasking, ..."

To whomever wrote this, a piece of writing advice: read all your work out loud to yourself to see if it sounds right. You notice more things that way.




Have some disagreements
By TMV192 on 2/18/2010 12:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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


Now I'm no huge fan of Apple, but they've been the best in this category as far as I know (if you discount last gen OSs like WinMo). Sure it took a lot of push, but they had native support since 2008, android released after that and still didn't release NDK until much later, before that it was java (which is slower than C#), same with Palm (they just wanted web apps like Apple). Apple is expected since they have this restricted nature, but I don't know why every new OS seems to not learn that they'll have to go native eventually. Especially Microsoft who seems like they are downgrading a lot of WinMo features to be more like Apple




Developers developers developers
By Azsen on 2/18/2010 6:10:47 PM , Rating: 2
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home














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