Windows Phone 7 makes permanent changes to memory cards that makes them unusable with other devices. The changes reportedly can not even be reduced by formatting.  (Source: Engadget)
Yes, memory cards are supported, but Microsoft's latest OS seems to have a host of bizarre restrictions

There was much speculation over whether Microsoft would support memory cards in its Windows Phone 7 lineup, following comments by its project leaders indicating that it might not.  Well the phones finally hit the market last week and some models did have memory card support.  But perhaps it would have been better if they didn't.

Windows Phone 7 users are facing a pair of baffling issues surrounding the phone's memory card support.

First up, AT&T has warned users that they should only use only "Certified for Windows Phone 7" microSD cards with their Windows Phones.  The only problem?  No such cards currently are available.

According to supporting Microsoft documents, certification is more than "a simple matter of judging its speed class" and includes "[s]everal other factors, such as the number of random read/write operations per second, play a role in determining how well an SD card performs with Windows Phone 7 devices."

The second issue, and more critical issue is that Windows Phones essentially "break" users' memory cards making permanent changes to them that prevent them from being used with other devices.  Windows Phone handset manufacturer Samsung warns that once you insert your memory card into the phone, "it will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on."

Samsung claims that the modification (whatever it may be) actually prevents you from even formatting your memory cards to reverse the changes.

Fortunately Microsoft doesn't appear to be intentionally ruining users' hardware as Apple has tried to in the past, but unintentionally ruining it is almost as bad.  If there's one thing worse than not implementing a much-requested feature it's implementing it horribly.

As the initial sales buzz works off, Microsoft must race to fix these issues or risk the public developing a negative perception of its new smart phones.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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