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Microsoft executive Charlie Kindel says that his company is "following in Apple’s line" with its new phone OS, when it comes to tough decisions like initially disallowing multitasking, copy and paste, and user replacable memory.
Missing features are threatening to derail the promise of Windows Phone 7

When the public first received a taste of the Windows Phone 7 OS, they liked what they saw.  The interface looked great and surprisingly different from the iPhone-like status quo.  And many were excited that Microsoft was pushing its Xbox gaming dedication and Zune successes into its new phone project.

Then came the bad news.  At launch here would be no copy and paste, no application multitasking, and perhaps most importantly, no memory card support.  The lack of copy and paste can be perhaps excused if Microsoft merely wants to make sure to perfect it before airing it in finished form.  Likewise, mobile multitasking is no easy chore and while it's disappointing that the feature won't be ready at launch, perhaps it's better that Microsoft did things right then released a sloppy, battery-chowing implementation.

But no access to replaceable memory? That's a new one for Windows-based smartphones -- Microsoft's Todd Brix says that denying users access to replaceable memory makers for a "simpler" and "more satisfying" user experience.

At the Dutch DevDay event, interviewed Microsoft's Charlie Kindel about the new phone project and Microsoft's plans to fix its shortcomings.

Kindel admits the release of Windows Phone 7 later this year will be far from "feature complete", but he says that things like multitasking and the ability to customize your home screen will eventually be added, via Zune software updates (the new phone OS shares a code base with the Zune media players) or over-the-air releases for smaller updates.  Unlike past versions of Windows Mobile, Microsoft will strive to have all its phones operating on the same OS, and will not allow OEM specific versions of the operating system.

Kindel says HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, and ASUSTek, are all cooking up Windows Phone 7 devices.  He is confident that Microsoft will be able to launch products later this year, stating, "When I see where we are today in terms of speed and stability of the OS, I am sure that we get it."

Why the delay on the multi-tasking?  It's hard, says Kindel.  He states, "For example if you have an application in the background a GPS position to other applications, can pass, it is required that the application can run in the background. For such scenarios, we will build multi-tasking again."

Kindel gave no indication that Microsoft ever plans to let users have free access to replaceable memory in the new OS.

While the phone doesn't look much like the iPhone, he also says that his company is following in Apple's footsteps when it comes to developing the new OS.  He states, "That’s right, in many cases we are following in Apple’s line. We found the user experience provided by Windows Phone 7 required sharp choices. It may be true that some of these choices match those of Apple. At the end of the day it is for us both about the user experience of smartphones."

The real question is whether users will accept that line and purchase cell phones that don't support replaceable memory (which Android does), multi-tasking (which Apple, Palm, Android will all soon do), and copy and paste (also available in all the major competitors).  And a second important question is, when these features someday arrive, will buyers really greet them with open arms?  Those are some tough questions for Microsoft's ambitious phone reboot.

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By Suntan on 4/12/2010 12:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
But for the people that like to tinker, know how to reflash a phone or like the ability to customize their phone for their life I can only see the one possible phone at this time and that would be an Android.

Might want to have a look at WebOS. The guys over at do a fair amount of hacking/modification.

Further, Verizon is offering a pretty good deal on the Pre Plus right now (free mobile hotspot, which is a great feature if you have use for it.)

Unfortunately, the uncertainty around Palm is a big detractor, but WebOS really has some good merits, even if it can't see the light of day underneath the marketing clouds of Andriod and iphone OS.


By melgross on 4/12/2010 12:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
And how has this helped Palm? It hasn't.

It's easy to blame Sprint for Palm's failings as everyone including Palm's mamagement is doing. Now they are blaming Verizon as well.

The truth is that while WebOs has some nice things going for it, it's too complex for most people. While the iPhone is obvious in its usage, WebOS isn't. Despite reading plenty about it before I tried the phone, I found it confusing. It simply isn't obvious as to how many functions work It's back to reading the manual again, and most people will simply not do that.

I've seen people in Sprint stores and Verizon stores pick up a Pre and play with them for a few moments, then put them down again and move to the next phone. I never saw that at an Apple store or AT&T store with an iPhone. People tend to linger much longer.

Almost no one wants to tinker with their phone. I just wish that the few who do, would wake up and realize that most people aren't tinkerers. I'm about as geeky as most people here, but I just want to chill with my phone, and the iPhone allows me to do that. It's actually ENJOYABLE to use, and that's what I want with it.

I think that people who insist on tinkering with their phone are, for the most part, doing it just to convince themselves that they should, because that's who they want to be.

By Suntan on 4/12/2010 1:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
The truth is that while WebOs has some nice things going for it, it's too complex for most people.

Your mileage may vary. Personally I found the WebOS to be quite intuitive to operate even at the first interaction with it at the Verizon store. Spending a minute to look over the “gestures” card taught me the one or two things I didn’t figure out on my own (how to delete mostly.) Heck, even my wife was able to get the hang of it quickly after I showed her.

I haven’t really played with the iPhone all that much, but to say that WebOS is too hard for someone to figure out must mean that the iPhone just has one big button covering the whole screen that reads “call operator” that you just mash whenever you want to use the phone if it is really significantly easier to learn how to use than WebOS.

In any case, the guy said he wanted a phone with the ability to tinker with it. I offered him the suggestion to look at WebOS because there is a fair amount of hacking being done on it now. Sorry if your iPhone doesn’t actually fit in with what the guy had said he wants.

And you say that you never see someone put down the iPhone and start looking at a different model at an Apple store huh? Shocking.


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