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Copy/Paste and CDMA support is coming to Windows Phone 7 next month
Microsoft is working hard to solidify its new product as a market leading player

Microsoft isn't looking for slow and steady gains with Windows Phone 7 (WP7); it's looking to conquer the market.  Much like it did with the Xbox 360, Microsoft is looking to jump directly to second with a new partnership with the world's leading phone-maker Nokia.

But whether it can attain that favorable position, as with its gaming console, depends on how good the company's product is.  Fortunately for Windows Phone 7, the product is shaping up to improve dramatically in coming months.

At the Mobile World Conference 2011 in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced [video] that WP7's first major update would be delivered in just weeks in "early March".  That update will most notably bring copy and paste.  It is also adds CDMA support, which means that Verizon and Sprint WP7 handsets should be airing around the same time.  And it also will reportedly improve the performance of a number of key system pieces.

But that's not all.  "Later this year" an update will land which delivers a mobile version of Internet Explorer 9, complete with hardware acceleration.  Microsoft showed off the new browser smoking an iPhone 4's Mobile Safari in a speed test.  The only disappointment is that Flash wasn't mentioned, indicating that Microsoft may opt to "follow in Apple's line" and go HTML5-only.   But Mr. Ballmer did promise the "full" internet, so it's possible that Flash just was coincidently not mentioned.

And another update is also in store.  With that third update, multi-tasking will at last be opened up to third party apps.  The implementation looks pretty intuitive -- press and hold the back arrow key to get a card list of running apps.  Games are paused briefly when you switch back to them, to give you time to react.  And Microsoft says that the multi-tasking is all done without gobbling up battery-life.

Finally, for the Twitter lovers out there, Microsoft is working to integrate the feature in its people hub, hence perpetuating the evil of micro-blogging.

Former Microsoft Canada executive and new Nokia CEO Stephen Elop made a guest appearance at Ballmer's keynote.  He gushed, "Microsoft has a very modern collection of tools to help developers. Unquestionably the most operator-friendly ecosystem today... Microsoft and Nokia together represent a natural partnership. People are getting it."

Mr. Ballmer announced that the WP7 platform is now up to 8,000 apps, and that it has 1 million active developers.

And Microsoft had a few tricks up its sleeve.  It showed off a fourth slick update to Windows Phone 7 that allows the device to interact with the Kinect motion sensor for the Xbox 360.  The new interface allows users to control aspects of Kinect games, for new multiplayer challenges.

That update is coming this year as well.

So to recap on this flurry of updates to WP7 that are incoming this year we have:

  1. Copy and Paste, CDMA support (early March)
  2. Third-party multi-tasking (2011)
  3. Mobile Internet Explorer 9 (2011)
  4. Kinect connectivity (2011)
With the launch of iOS 5 and Android 3.0 Honeycomb coming up, it remains to be seen whether the late-2011 WP7 is completely caught up to the competition.  But the platform already sports one of the most intuitive and unique interfaces, tossing out the chiclet grid design used by iOS and largely used by Android.  With a bit more polish, Windows Phone 7 could be a legitimate contender to Android in second place.


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Just the beginning
By Mitch101 on 2/14/2011 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It showed off a fourth slick update to Windows Phone 7 that allows the device to interact with the Kinect motion sensor for the Xbox 360. The new interface allows users to control aspects of Kinect games, for new multiplayer challenges.

Allowed to comment in more detail or is there a gag order/nda?

This is just the beginning of Microsoft leveraging their other markets into the Windows Phone 7 device that you wont be able to get or do on Android/iPhone/Blackberry/WebOS/Palm.

Once Microsoft catches up on the minor features missing on other devices have they will start to separate and the tides will turn to what the Android/iPhones and other devices cant do.

Microsoft is not a one trick product pony there is a lot they can expand into with a mobile device that others simply cannot touch.




RE: Just the beginning
By Mitch101 on 2/14/2011 12:28:56 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Just the beginning
By Pirks on 2/14/2011 2:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
I bet Tony Swash is screaming something like "BUT MS CONSUMER BRAND IS DYING!" while watching it


RE: Just the beginning
By Alexvrb on 2/14/2011 7:34:13 PM , Rating: 1
Holy shit did Pirks just say something that makes sense!?


RE: Just the beginning
By aegisofrime on 2/14/2011 10:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes Pirks actually makes sense. Unlike Tony Swash who doesn't make sense 100% of the time.


RE: Just the beginning
By woofersus on 2/15/2011 3:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
That's pretty damn cool. I suspect this will go beyond Kinnect games eventually. It appears WP7 is becoming a touch-sensitive Xbox 360 controller.

I agree that MS (if they do it right) can tap into a larger ecosystem than their competitors. They haven't done a great job of pulling it all together in the past, but lately have been making strides. Between the XBox integration, the built-in Zune, the MS Office functionality, and the tie-in to the MS Live ecosystem, they're creating a great companion device to many people's home PC's. Just the ability to sync a lot of documents, pictures, video's, email, and contacts to the cloud and have it all on both devices is a real boon. A lot more WP7 owners will have windows computers at home than iPhone owners will have MACs.


RE: Just the beginning
By Da W on 2/14/2011 1:06:45 PM , Rating: 2
Where's the tethering? Wi-Fi hotspot? I wanna use it as a modem for my windows 7 tablet PC too ya know?


RE: Just the beginning
By Mitch101 on 2/14/2011 1:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
Same place your X-Box and Sharepoint integration is.

All my friends with droids root it then enable tethering and my friends with iPhones I forget the app they downloaded that sneaks in tethering. As for Wifi Hotspots run through bluetooth.

Tethering and Wifi Hotspots options are controlled by the carriers be sure to ask them because there are many Motorola devices with tether options disabled by the carrier.


RE: Just the beginning
By Wolfgangap on 2/14/2011 2:15:49 PM , Rating: 3
If you have a Samsung WP7 you can tether over USB: http://www.pcworld.com/article/210394/samsung_focu...


RE: Just the beginning
By Mitch101 on 2/14/2011 3:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
Nice find.


RE: Just the beginning
By Smilin on 2/15/2011 9:09:09 AM , Rating: 2
You might like this as well..

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=8...

Samsung Focus diagnostic codes.


RE: Just the beginning
By Tewt on 2/16/2011 12:34:47 AM , Rating: 2
So you want to pay more? I laugh every time I see when people bring this up as a missing feature. Not saying you, Da W, as you appear interested in the platform but until tethering is free from the carrier, I'd rather have the workarounds posted by the hacking community.

While I don't have any major complaints about my AT&T service, I say screw them on tethering. Let them figure out if that same data I'm already paying for is going to the phone or just passed through it.


Updates
By Murst on 2/14/2011 11:52:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if something like this exists or not, but it would be very neat if they would make it so that when you plug in your phone via USB to any device capable of playing MP3s, it would work.

I think Apple does this by providing drivers for their stuff to various manufacturers, but hopefully there's some solution that would allow WP7 to do this without having custom software installed on the devices.

Maybe the way to do this would be for WP7 to simply identify itself as a USB storage device and only list the MP3s (or w/e else) as content, but there's probably some conflict there with licensing, etc.




RE: Updates
By PrezWeezy on 2/14/2011 6:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps if they were to install a virtual sound card with the WP7 as the line in? That seems plausible. It's still locked to the device but lets you play it as well.


RE: Updates
By Azethoth on 2/14/2011 8:48:35 PM , Rating: 1
It does not exist because MS fails at Zune and music in general. Therefore the only thing that truly matters is docking an iDevice.

Microsoft could coopt the iPod ecosystem but sadly Windows Media Player (and therefore Windows Media Center) can not under any circumstances play an Apple lossless file (m4a + ALAC). So as soon as you rip a CD to ALAC thats game over for MS, they take their marbles home and through either incompetence or malice refuse to both play the file via a codec and file it as music in their library system. Totally useless and clueless.

Long rant short, you do not want MS in charge of your music at the moment.


RE: Updates
By noirsoft on 2/15/2011 2:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft fails because Apple won't allow them to? Of course, since WMA is equal in every respect to AAC, there's no need ever use AAC/ALAC unless you are locked in to Apple's entirely closed ecosystem. Oh, and you also get better D/A converters, better interface and subscription content as well.


RE: Updates
By woofersus on 2/15/2011 3:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention why would you use the restrictive iTunes if you didn't have to? I have a whopping 0 AAC/ALAC files and the only device I'd have trouble getting to play them is an iPod.


Developers vs. Apps
By CZroe on 2/14/2011 3:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
Are there really 125 developers for every published app? That's how the math works out for 1mil devs and 8k apps.




RE: Developers vs. Apps
By GeekWithFire on 2/14/2011 4:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
Is it possible he is talking about Visual Studio developers? WP7 Development is just an extension of the standard toolset for vb and C# programmers.


RE: Developers vs. Apps
By Smilin on 2/14/2011 5:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
Nah. I'm guessing it's including people like me who have just spun up some "hello world" apps and not much more.

The fact remains WP7 apps are rolling out rapidly. They are up to about 10k now I think. It's reached the point already where things are getting lost in the crowd.

It's one thing MSFT is great at: Attracting developers and making the world revolve around them.


RE: Developers vs. Apps
By Luticus on 2/16/2011 2:55:17 PM , Rating: 2
or they could be a sh*t ton of incomplete "in the making" apps... just sayin'


Developer to app ratio
By petpeeve on 2/14/2011 1:50:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
the WP7 platform is now up to 8,000 apps, and that it has 1 million active developers


Is that something to be proud of? Either most developers aren't or haven't yet created an app, or it takes 125 developers working together to manage to build a WP7 app. Either way...




RE: Developer to app ratio
By kleinma on 2/14/2011 3:00:45 PM , Rating: 4
I don't know if it is something to be proud of. How many developers are writing software for the mobile OS you created?

How many developers were there at the original iPhone launch? Oh wait, none because Mr Jobs didn't want 3rd party development outside the browser...

I would say for just getting off the ground, and so far not a huge uptake in the market, that is a pretty good amount of apps to be available.


RE: Developer to app ratio
By jvillaro on 2/14/2011 9:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah man your totally right! there should be 992.000 more apps! Where are all the fart apps? where the $1.000 screen saver apps?!
Come on developers developers developers! where are all those million useless apps I don't want?!
</sarcasm>

Please troll your way out the door at the far left...


URL in 3rd paragraph not working for me
By StraightCashHomey on 2/14/2011 2:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
I can't get the [video] link to work for me. Is this happening for anyone else?




By Pirks on 2/14/2011 2:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
404 for me either, this link's dead


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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