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  (Source: Microsoft)

A peek at the Windows Phone 7's memory model, which allocates 2 GB to the kernel and 2 GB to apps.  (Source: Tweakers.net)
Microsoft is hard at work crafting its response to Apple, RIM, and Google

This week, details about both the Windows Phone 7 architecture and low-end phone hardware for developing nations was aired.

Microsoft faces much the same position as Palm does in the smartphone market -- it's losing marketshare to a charging Google and is falling farther away from entrenched market leaders Apple and Research in Motion.

Microsoft's answer is a complete reboot of its smartphone franchise, however, some are skeptical.  The initial implementation of Microsoft's new operating system -- Windows Phone 7 -- reportedly will lack many features that competitors have, such as support for multi-tasking and copy/paste.  Still, many are intrigued to see what the new design will bring.

Tweakers.net received leaked slides showing the architecture of the new smartphone OS.  The OS is a 32-bit operating system.  Under the memory model, application processes get up to 2 GB of memory, 1 GB of which is virtual memory.  The kernel, likewise, gets its own 2 GB of memory space.

The mandated processor will be an ARMv7 design.  Multi-touch, FM Tuner, Wi-Fi, GPS, and camera are also mandated.  The default screen resolution is 800x480 pixels, but developers can go as low as 480x320 (the resolution of the current iPhone).

Microsoft is providing OEMs with 2D graphics and DirectX 10-based Direct3D 11 runtimes, while they will be responsible for providing drivers for their graphics hardware.  

Bluetooth 3.0 and 4.0 support is noticeably absent, though the phone will support the widespread Bluetooth 2.1 standard.  Microsoft hopefully plans an update at some point to add support for later versions of the wireless communication standard, but there's no specific details at this point.

Interestingly the OS utilizes two different file systems -- TexFAT for user files or IMGFS for system files.  There's talk about putting the phone in a mostly disabled state if key system files are deleted.

More interestingly the slides indicate that Microsoft is planning memory card support.  Previously, at developers events, several sources were told by Microsoft executives that memory cards were confusing to users and that it was omitting them to "simplify" the design.  At this point its unclear whether memory card support is in, out, or coming soon.

Microsoft has strict rules with OEMs when it comes to software.  Bing is the default search engine for the phone -- that cannot be changed.  OEMs can change the default search engine within Internet Explorer, though.  Likewise, the home screen tiles are non-negotiable.  However, OEMs can add their own extra tiles to the home screen.  Finally, trial apps are disallowed and OEMs are only allowed to add 6 apps and not use more than 60 MB of storage space.

In separate Windows Phone 7 news, Sudeep Bharati, who works on Microsoft India’s Visual Studio team, says that a special fourth chassis will be added for phone sold in developing nations.  He describes, "The low-cost version of the phone will have a different chassis than version 1 to be launched by 2010 end."

While he mentioned that it would be "low-cost" -- perfect for developing countries like India or China -- he did not mentioning anything about cutting the minimum hardware requirements, raising questions about how Microsoft will be cutting costs on the developing nations-targeting handset.

Three chassis designs were previously announced for the U.S. models, including the wide design (similar to the Zune), a slide out keyboard version, and a third, unannounced, chassis.  The third chassis has been speculated by some to be a candy bar or slider design.



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You can't change the home screen tiles?
By dubldwn on 4/20/2010 12:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
So, you have to have the outlook, narcissistic "me", and tacky xbox live tiles? No.




RE: You can't change the home screen tiles?
By Goty on 4/20/2010 12:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
This just means you'll have to wait for the Windows 7 Phone version of Jailbreaking.


RE: You can't change the home screen tiles?
By wifiwolf on 4/20/2010 5:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
And we should hope it's something worth jailbreaking.
Then we'll start using the almost forbidden words... on smartphones:

But is it worth jailbreaking?


By Shin Messiah on 4/20/2010 11:52:50 PM , Rating: 3
Greetings to all. First time posting but have been watching the antics on here for a very long time...

@wifiwolf... it should be worth "jail breaking" but the term jail breaking is usually referenced to Apple products...for Windows phone products its referred to as HardSPL Unlocking (for the most part), and Android phones use the term "Rooting". Anyways Windows phones have long had great communities (PPCGeeks.com and XDA.com) to develop, unlock, fix, tweak every Windows phone that has ever come out. The devs in these communities number into the thousands. With every Windows Mobile phones I've had, through use of these communities, I have been able to fully tweak, fix or customize my phone. Out of the box they arent that great for power users like the most of us. These commnuties are hard at work now doing research and getting ready to shift focus to the new os once it comes out. It might take a couple days from the first release, but theres no doubt in my mind they will crack this OS wide open, enhance it features, and give us some back some the features MS withheld from us. They do it every time, and there is no doubt in my mind they will do it again.

Of course I will still wait until after all that smokes clears before making the jump...because as much as MS is following in Apples footsteps weening its new mobile OS, they might be as stupid as Apple as to start bricking phones once the first wave of people start unlocking them.


By damianrobertjones on 4/20/2010 12:32:29 PM , Rating: 2
Of course you'll be able to change whatever you like, within, say, 45 seconds after it's initial release (and probably weeks before).


By spread on 4/20/2010 12:33:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
narcissistic "me"


That means Windows Phone 7 is going to be a major success!!


By Smilin on 4/20/2010 2:10:15 PM , Rating: 5
Aw man, MSFT *just* missed a sale with you didn't they? You were going to buy one before you heard about the "me" tile. I just know it.


RE: You can't change the home screen tiles?
By HighWing on 4/20/2010 3:47:49 PM , Rating: 4
Actually it only said that manufactures can not change the tiles. Which I take to mean that the user might still be able to after they buy it.


By Suntan on 4/20/2010 4:51:54 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed.

Looking at how some of the carriers have F'ed up phones in the past with junk, I see this as a good thing. (Assuming the customer can change it as desired.)

-Suntan


Doubful
By swampjelly on 4/20/2010 2:33:12 PM , Rating: 1
It will have a FM Tuner BUT no copy & paste?

I find that very hard to believe.




Win 7 Phone doomed
By mavricxx on 4/21/2010 1:29:04 AM , Rating: 1
Win 7 Phone is doomed from the beginning just because look at the iPhone, it has more features to include the front facing cam which will deem Win 7 Phone outdated. Miscrosoft needs to get their act together.




Huh!
By drycrust3 on 4/20/10, Rating: -1
RE: Huh!
By Smilin on 4/20/2010 1:11:49 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Also, why isn't there any antivirus software? What makes this "Windows" so different from the others that malware won't affect it? Is it a Linux distribution in disguise?


Thinking that Linux or any other OS is immune to malware is naive but why is it you think this phone needs anti-virus? Is it because it has the word "Windows" in the name? You realize that software written for Windows won't actually run on this phone right?

quote:
And if it uses virtual memory does that mean it has a hard drive?


I think you don't know how computers work. First you say that thing about malware and now you're confusing pagefile with virtual memory.

quote:
Oh, why bother asking. I know what will happen next: it will be free with the next computer you buy.


Nevermind. I think you might just be plain dumb.


RE: Huh!
By drycrust3 on 4/21/2010 5:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You realize that software written for Windows won't actually run on this phone right?


Didn't know that. I guess it is logical, but, no, I didn't know that.

quote:
First you say that thing about malware and now you're confusing pagefile with virtual memory.


Huh? Pagefile? What's that?

From Wikipedia:"Virtual memory is a computer system technique which gives an application program the impression that it has contiguous working memory (an address space), while in fact it may be physically fragmented and may even overflow on to disk storage."

quote:
Under the memory model, application processes get up to 2 GB of memory, 1 GB of which is virtual memory.


So it seems to me the writer wasn't using the definition of virtual memory in Wikipedia. My guess is the writer believed that 1 GB of memory wasn't stored in volatile RAM, which raises the question of where else information could be stored.

quote:
I think you might just be plain dumb.


Don't worry, lots of people think that. As others will recall, at one time you had to pay for a browser, then along came Microsoft and gave you one for free, now you can download a whole ton of them for free. Sure, when I wrote that Microsoft was going to give their cell phone away for free I was a bit depressed, but in hindsight it isn't a comment I regret.
Historically technology has decreased in price as sophistication has increased. The price you pay for a reasonably good land line phone isn't that much less than a basic mobile phone, soon the price of a basic model mobile phone will be below that of a good (i.e. not top of the range model) land line phone. In addition, the price of mobile phone calls will soon be around the level of a landline call. When that happens, then landlines will become the "option" phone and the mobile will become the "regular" phone.
One of the most important points about Microsoft is they sell products that do what they say it will. Every function on it works. If it can't do something, the function isn't there. They are the standard by which every other software company HAS to measure themselves against.
Microsoft hasn't succeeded with an MP3 player, and when I first read this article I thought their phone was going to be a failure as well, but now I believe their phone will be a success, and the reason is it has to for them to survive in the long term.
As I said then, don't be surprised if the next time buy a new computer with Windows preinstalled, that not only does it have "free" browser, "free" Word, "free" Excel, "free" etc, but also a "free" mobile phone as well. That phone will be a Microsoft phone and, yes, like Excel and Word, it won't be as good as the best on the market, but it will do pretty well most things people want, and yes, like IE it may well have technical imperfections, but those will just be grumbles by technical people and won't affect "us", and yes, it might be prone to malware, but someone will make and sell a program that fights malware.


RE: Huh!
By elvarsteinn on 4/22/2010 11:09:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
like IE it may well have technical imperfections, but those will just be grumbles by technical people and won't affect "us"


IE's "technical imperfections" affect "you" more than anyone else, mostly indirectly. By having bad standards support and a terribly terribly slow JS engine, IE cripples the web as a whole, preventing web applications and websites to take more advantage of modern hardware to serve "you" better and more interactively. The Web would be so much more polished and useful if it wasnt for IE slowing its progress down.


RE: Huh!
By drycrust3 on 4/25/2010 2:41:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Web would be so much more polished and useful if it wasnt for IE slowing its progress down.


My thanks for reminding me.


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg














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