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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, 
Tweakers.net 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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mt
By pro5 on 4/12/2010 1:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
"Why the delay on the multi-touch? It's hard, says Kindel. "

Typo? should be multi tasking I assume. Multi-touch is of course on the phone.

I'm behind MS with this, sure they have completely changed tack compared to previous winmo and are annoying a lot of advanced users but it's in their interests to get a real competitor out there for the iPhone, because the phone/pad etc is eating into other areas. Google and MS are to be encouraged to increase competition and yes in a way we can thank apple for making MS raise their game a bit.

I have an iPod touch but have no interest in the iPhone, I would buy a WP7 or good android in future though. As a developer the tools for WP7 are great and I have lots of stuff up and running in the emulator already (which can be unlocked to show a lot of what will be in the phone) and hope to pick up WP7 at the end of the year for real testing (and using of course)




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