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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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RE: New Phone OS 7
By JasonMick on 4/12/2010 1:48:53 PM , Rating: 5
The one thing that I myself can not swallow is the lack of memory card support this will most likely turn off a lot of people & I truely hope MS changes their minds on that.

I think when you're willing to "swallow" a certain number of shortcomings for your company of choice that's a dangerous sign.

That's the same reason why many criticized Apple fans who bought iPhones before copy and paste and why some make fun of iPhone fans now, because it won't get multitasking till this summer. Or why criticism is leveled against those who buy the current MacBook Pro model, when its graphic card has become incredibly dated for such an expensive device.

But "swallow"ing Windows Phone shortcomings because you love Microsoft is equally wrong. You should buy the best product for you needs, period, or you're hurting yourself and the rest of us by convincing companies that it's acceptable to peddle expensive outdated products to consumers.

Microsoft can make all the excuses it wants, but if it doesn't implement these features till next year, the fact is that it will be at least half a year, maybe a year behind competitors in critical features like multi-tasking.

That is simply unacceptable in my eyes as an unbiased consumer.

RE: New Phone OS 7
By rocky12345 on 4/12/2010 2:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed 100% I don't think we should have to swallow all the missing features like someone else pointed out missing software features is one thing but missing hardware features is another those can not be added later unless a new model comes out with those features then you have to go ut & buy the product all over again if you want the added features. But we all know there will be al ot of people that willgo out & buy these products no matter what some knowing what they are doing & most just unaware.

RE: New Phone OS 7
By 3minence on 4/12/2010 4:02:00 PM , Rating: 3
missing software features is one thing but missing hardware features is another those can not be added later

Unfortunately, for those who bought earlier iPhones, they cannot add multitasking even though it's a 'software' thing. The early adapter penalty strikes again.

I will not buy a smartphone on the promise of features added later. I don't trust the companies to add it later. I will give you my money when you give me the product I want. I respect MS's desire to "get it right" before they release it, I just hope they respect my choice to not give them my money until it's complete.

RE: New Phone OS 7
By Aloonatic on 4/13/2010 5:04:14 AM , Rating: 2
It seems that Sony have been coming at this from all angels, trying their hardest to get the consumer not to trust them.

When their product has features on release, they sometimes remove them as they have with the PS3. Then with the Xperia X10 they "promise" a lot like Android 2.1 and stay vague on things like multi-touch. Letting people assume that it's a 1.6/2.1 issue, only to come clean and around release and admit that it doesn't have hardware support for it at all anyway, which they must have known about fora long long time, after many have pre-ordered.

These days, who knows what your Sony product will actually do after you purchase it, no matter what they promise, or the box says that it will.

RE: New Phone OS 7
By sbtech on 4/13/2010 5:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
Jason, you finally hit the nail here. Cheers for standing up to the hypocrisy.

From theoretical point, this is textbook Relationship Marketing at work, where a prospect moves through the stages Prospect -> Customer -> Client -> Supporter -> Advocate. Evident in the trend of posts, whenever an Apple vs. Microsoft theme comes up.

To be fair to the OP, this happens with everyone of us with certain companies. Look at Harley Davidson for example - their customers brands the logo on the skin - literary.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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