Windows Mobile 7 details start to trickle out. “Bag of hurt” in the making?

by Mike
Posted February 6th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Anyone who spends even a smidgen of time in the mobile world knows that over the last couple of years, a lot has changed. As little as three years ago, Android, webOS, and the iPhone didn’t exist. In the here and now, trying to imagine such a world is almost impossible. With each successive newcomer, Windows Mobile, the once defacto smartphone standard and mobile giant, has continued to slowly lose market share and relevance.

Windows Mobile hasn’t exactly been one of my favorite mobile OS’s. It’s just not for me for a number of reasons. But after Microsoft started mentioning blurbs of Windows Mobile 7, my interest finally started getting piqued. Windows Mobile 7 could be big. Actually, it needs to be big. If Microsoft were to drop the ball with another major mobile release, the platform’s days could very well be numbered. Thankfully for us, claimed specs and details of Windows Mobile 7 have started trickling out in advance of MWC. Now keep in mind that these aren’t confirmed specs as of yet. But it should be a good indicator of where the platform will move to with the launch of Windows Mobile 7.

The *Good* leaked specs:

  • User Interface: “Metro”
  • Full Zune integration
  • Full Xbox integration — avatars, achievements, stats

The bad, worse, and terrible:

  • *NO* Multi-tasking
  • NO applications supported outside of Windows Marketplace. (ie: apps on SD can’t be installed)
  • No NetCF (legacy apps) compatibility

As far as legacy support, with such a major shift in the underlying core of the OS, the loss of support for older applications was a given. Frankly, with the quality and appearance of most of the legacy apps, this isn’t a bad thing. It gives users a fresh start. However, if the rumors of no multi-tasking/background support and no SD card app installs holds true, Microsoft might as well close the doors now.

With as much flack as Apple has received over the last couple of years for the iPhone’s lack of background app support/multi-tasking, one would think Microsoft would play on this weakness. Instead, it appears they are following down the same path — a big, big mistake. Seriously, why would they do this? Microsoft used to talk up Windows Mobile multi-tasking when the iPhone first launched. Now they’re joining the team.

Finally, the inability to install apps via SD cards is a huge disappointment. Just look at xda-forums — they’re a huge community built on HTC devices mostly running Windows Mobile. The path Microsoft looks to be taking is a massive deviation from the old user base and one that could anger a lot of users.

After all is said and done, could one argue Microsoft really doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing in the mobile sphere? I mean, taking away multi-tasking and SD card installs are two things the geek crowd/power users (Windows Mobile main user base) live on. If WinMo 7 does in fact remove multi-tasking and apps installed via SD cards or other means, will you look to another platform for future purchases?

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2 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Nick
    February 7, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Seriously I only opted for Windows Mobile because it wasn’t as limiting as the Iphone was, even accepted sluggishness and REALLY BAD ergonomics. but now? if Microsoft doesn’t have a huge ace up their sleeves i’m really considering changing OS… With Apple you know that what you get is at least top notch, and will be in the future since the company has only been releasing high quaility products in the recent years…

    • Mike
      February 7, 2010 at 6:55 am

      Ya. If Microsoft’s goes down the road of “one apparently at a time”, its going to end badly.

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