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  • Hrel - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Yeah, pretty sure I'll never buy any portable ANYTHING that doesn't support expandable memory. I don't need more iphones out there, thanks anyway. Reply
  • jconan - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    Will Microsoft support Unicode in its WP7S phones? They never got around to it on the Zune. I hope they do for WP7S and hopefully in Courier. It's easier to read text the way it's meant to be read than in gibberish ascii with diacritics. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    Wow, all this talk about Web-capable smartphones sure makes me wish for a mobile version of :| Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    We have heard this promise of adding features before! Reply
  • RandomUsername3245 - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    The article says, "There's also of course the stigmata attached to buying a phone preloaded with a bevy of carrier-branded applications."

    The author should have used "stigma" rather than "stigmata". Stigmata is a Roman Catholic reference: (from marks resembling the wounds of the crucified body of Christ, said to be supernaturally impressed on the bodies of certain persons, esp. nuns, tertiaries, and monastics.
  • CSMR - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    Stigmata is just the plural of stigma. "Stigmas" is normally better but stigmaga is correct. So the problem with the sentence is that "is" is singluar and "stigmata" is plural. Reply
  • jhh - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    Applications can't currently run in the background, but they can process push notifications. Does this mean that any application that wants to provide background processing needs to wake the phone via push notifications? If so, do those mean that the push notifications need to come through a Microsoft back-end notification server? If so, that would be another case of application lockdown. I can't see Facebook or Twitter wanting to run their traffic through Microsoft just to be able to use the notification service. Reply
  • ncage - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Is it perfect? Nope but i still think its pretty dang good. Can't wait. I will still probably get a nexus one when it comes out tuesday but will get a wp7 near xmas. Have a BB Tour now and i hate it with a passion. If your not an email addict then i don't think you would ever like a BB. I'd get a palm pre instead if it didn't sound like they were just about to die. RIM should buy them. Reply
  • hessenpepper - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Will the tight hardware requirements allow Microsoft to release upgrades directly to the end users or will they release in to the manufacturers/carriers? Will we be at their mercy for timely upgrades? Reply
  • MGSsancho - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    Part of the reason Microsoft wants tight control over hardware is so they can focus on other stuff and not write 9000 drivers. Windows CE works on ppc, x86, arm with varying amounts of ram and configurations. It is the same strategy Apple has, only have a few select hardware platforms and focus on the user experience. Reply
  • PsychoPif - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    MS will push the upgrades, not the carriers. Reply
  • shady28 - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Wow, you know there are (were) really only 5 platforms in the smartphone space - Windows Mobile, Palm WebOS, Blackberry RIM, iPhone, and Android. All of them were unique in their own way and had their own 'fanbase'.

    Now MS has removed their uniqueness. Rather than improving on WinMo, they've decided to try to go head to head against the iPhone by attempting to match up against the iPhone's strengths (ie, interface, ease of use, MP3 player integration, app store, etc).

    Naturally they've failed to best the iPhone in those categories by a long shot. Instead they essentially have made a device that is 'less than an iPhone' rather than a better WinMO device. I'd say this is the move that will kill off WinMo.
  • Johnmcl7 - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Whatever you think of S60 and Maemo, Nokia still have a large share of the smartphone market Reply
  • Azsen - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Does Microsoft seriously think that home screen user interface looks good? It looks flippen hideous!! Give me iPhone UI any day. Reply
  • straubs - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    No kiddding! Look at the Pre and then look at WP7S and tell me that doesn't look like something someone drew up in their basement in 1978. The single color and square corners are awful, not too mention huge amounts of wasted space everywhere. Reply
  • melgross - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    One thing that wasn't clear to me is whether or not music and books will be available without going through the marketplace. Apps can only be gotten there, so ok. The same thing is true for my iPhone. But I can get books, video and music onto the phone that weren't bought through the App Store or iTunes. Would that be possible here as well?

    The article didn't touch on that from what I saw. Anyone know?
  • nerdtalker - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    I touched on it, but only very briefly ;) partly because it's, you guessed it, not totally finalized. Microsoft wants everything to go through the marketplace, so that means yes, music, videos, and games are all marketplace purchases.

    A lot of developers were asking whether there was any API for them to do in-application commerce, and the answer was that this was still being worked on. Think the same way you can buy additional levels or addons in-game on the iPhone that are billed through the App Store. It isn't present in the builds of WP7S - yet.

    It's another one of those things they haven't fully fleshed out yet, and haven't decided whether they can finish in time for release.

    I didn't hear any mention of books at all, that's a great point. I'm not sure whether there's any strategy there.

  • CSMR - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    It looks like there is some complex sync process to transfer special types of file.
    You can't just plug in the phone, open it up as a storage device and drag files to and fro, as you can now.
    Instead you probably need to install special sync software.
    My advice: avoid and get a phone that is recognized as a storage device and has a usable file system.
  • MGSsancho - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    Maybe it behaves like my ZuneHD. i just put music and audio books into my music folder and videos into my video folder. then it shows up in the Zune app. if i want to auto sync pics, vids, podcats and music it can or I can manually drag stuff the the ZuneHD device icon. oh you can either encode videos yourself or the app will do it for you Reply
  • MrPIppy - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    iPhone apps are sandboxed, but they are *not* managed code. Objective-C is compiled into ARM binaries, and garbage collection is not available on iPhone. Reply
  • nerdtalker - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Noted and fixed! Thanks!

  • StormyParis - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    It seems so close to the whole iPhone thing, that if I were MS I'd be embarassed... a lot of pride swallowing must have been going on.

    My issue is, I can't find a good reason to want these phones. Even Office integration doesn't cut it, because the hardware is so gimped that I'd never, ever, want to do any office work with it. The rest is just regular smartphone stuff. As with Apple, I lose a whole lot of freedom of features (forced to use IE ? IE ??? back to web 0.8, guys). And my personnal guess would be that for the same loss, I get less in exchange, in terms of ease of use and features.

    Hopefully Google and Nokia will manage to keep their ecosystems open, because those "censored apps, censored hardware, no extensions nor upgrades" e-dystopias have me worried and slightly despondent.
  • NJoy - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    avid user of WM for last 5 years, now I'm so disappointed, it's even depressing. They just have killed everything what I liked about WinMo. Sad Reply
  • CSMR - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Extremely disappointing to be given a locked down system from Microsoft, missing essential capability that's been around for over a decade.

    Instead of continually expanding features and technology, and providing a better user interface, we have a locked down system with a long list of basic missing features. Windows Mobile has been downgraded from an operating system to firmware with this release.

    Even the user interface, supposedly "stylish" is almost everywhere an inefficient use of space to present information. It's fine to pander to customers who want that... but now there's no way to customize it to something better.

    Other features removed: No microSD cards, incredible! No file system access! Anyone who understands what a file is should avoid this system.

    I can see the benefits for the computer-illiterate, but for us and for business users why not make an open "Windows Mobile 7 Business" version without the limitations?
  • wolrah - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    The carriers need the shiny new phones to attract customers, not the other way around. The consumer cares more about the thing they're carrying rather than the network it's on (see iPhone and AT&T). With that in mind, the experience of a mobile phone OS should be about the user, not the carrier.

    The ability for carriers to screw with phones is almost universally a bad thing. The CDMA carriers' love of BREW on dumbphones, Verizon's obsession with crippling devices, AT&T's lockdown of the Backflip and the previous heavy limits on "bandwidth intense" iPhone apps, etc. I don't think I need to go on to show that the carriers should never be allowed to influence phones in the slightest. I can not come up with a single example where carrier modifications were a benefit for the end user even on dumbphones, much less on smartphones.

    The bit about appeasing carriers worried about becoming "dumb pipes" is the problem in a nutshell. They are dumb pipes, that's the point. They provide the spectrum and backhaul lines that connect my phone to the PSTN and Internet. Saying that telecom carriers don't want to be dumb pipes is like saying that Ford doesn't want to be a car company. It just doesn't make sense, since that's exactly what they are.
  • trochevs - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    I agree with you. Unfortunately we have two serious obstacles here. First is the brainwashed US consumer who thinks he/she is getting better deal by getting locked phone from US carrier for free or discounted price from artificially inflated price of unlocked phone.
    The US consumer are scripted so well and never stop to think for a minute. Just notice poor sales figures in USA for unlocked phones from Nokia, Sony and Google are.
    Second is the monopolistic behavior of US carriers. For many years they did not allowed unlocked phones on their networks. Only when real threat of regulation become evident they start allowing it. But they pile your phone bill with extra fees that makes you think twice. Not only that, but they keep charge you exact same monthly service fee even when everyone knows that this fee includes the price of the phone.
  • anactoraaron - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    not to mention the monopolistic reality of government agencies allowing these carriers to buy out all of the smaller, local companies. There is this trend of broken economics going on here and we, the "end users," are the ones paying for it (literally). Once where I live here there were 4 smaller companies my "unlocked" phone would work on.... now "unlocked" phones are almost all just ATT and T Mobile. Reply
  • trochevs - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Well. Thanks Brian for great article and thanks AnandTech for great coverage of Windows Phone 7 so far.
    From what I see WP7 is targeted directly against Apple iPhone not Google's Android. Apple is attacking HTC to hurt Android, but looks like Steve jobs did not learn his lesson. The real hit will come from Microsoft again. MS is taking advantage that all mobile operators are not happy with Apple keeping iPhone away from them. It will be slow switch for many iPhone users, but MS has the financial power to keep the WP7 alive for a while.
    Google's Android has own problem now. Google compromised their relationship with open source community in order to meet the US mobile operators and handset manufactures demands, but now Android is facing the real possibility that US carriers are going to use Android as bargaining power to get better deal from MS. Just like Asus and other OEM did with early versions of netbooks and using have-baked Linux distributions. So Google needs to decide between Open Source community or discontinue Android in the long run and accept that US carriers will hold the key and can lock out Google if they want to.
    So the key would be. How well Mr. Jobs and Mr. Schmidt have learn the lessons form recent and not so recent past. It will be fun watching. And the key player could turn to be Intel with their MeeGo.
  • FITCamaro - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    They're definitely going to have to allow applications like Pandora to run in the background or no one will buy the phone. I use Pandora on my Droid. If it killed Pandora any time I wanted to check my email, send a text message, or browse the web, I'd be be pissed. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Unfortunately, it looks like they're going down the iPhone route and locking everything down. App store, no SD cards, etc. Really not surprising I guess when you look at how they handled the Xbox 360. Reply
  • lifeblood - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    " Each time you run the application, WP7S will check that application's signature against the marketplace, both to check that it's valid, and that hasn't been revoked. Yes, marketplace has an application kill-switch."
    So if I'm out of range of a cell tower and I try to launch a app, it won't run because it can't call home? That's not very helpful, especially if it's a GPS app that I want to use to find my way back home.
  • erple2 - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    I suspect that they'll use a similar route to how the Zune works for its subscription based music. You can still play those songs for a while (a few days?) before having to connect the Zune to a WiFi network. Reply
  • cditty - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    I'm sure it will launch the app if it can't make contact. No doubt that they thought of this. Reply
  • at80eighty - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    good catch - hope it's not true, because win7 phone had all the trappings of a promising platform & they seem to be castrating it steadily with every press release Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    "There's also the fact that existing SoCs are barely powerful enough to make running a single application feel quick. It won't be until we get multicore Cortex A9 or Intel Moorestown class hardware before we have the horsepower to multitask without a tangible performance impact.

    Maybe that's what Microsoft/Apple would like to think but it's clearly not the case at all with several current phones having no problems supporting multitasking without performance issues. There are limits to the number of apps that can be handled simultaneously before it impacts performance but my current phone can easily handle 5 to 6 apps with no impact to the current app in use.

    The lack of SD card slot is concerning as it removes an easy way to back up on the move, while it's easy to have plenty of onboard memory it can be a pain in the neck if the device dies as you lose access to it. Of course you can still back up to a PC but with the increasing capabilities of smartphones, they're generally moving away from being connected to the PC.

  • fcx56 - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    Microsoft wants (for better or worse) your information backed up in the cloud. If you re-read the bit about the SMS app it gives a cloud backup error message. Reply
  • darwinosx - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    As usual Microsoft interface design is different for no reason other than to be different. They are also too little too late. So the choice remains to either get an iPhone and put up with AT&T or Android. Android is a lame copy of the iPhone with crap hardware and if Apple wins the lawsuit or an injunction then Android becomes an even poorer copy of the iPhone. Reply
  • zinfamous - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    come on, reader1/perks! couldn't you just use the same username here as you do in DailyTech? It makes it easier for the rest of us to know the content of your post rather than having to waste our precious 20 seconds reading them, when all it will be is yet another baitish, everything-but-Apple, FUD-ridden marketing ploy. Reply
  • FITCamaro - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    So the fact that the Droid shares much of the same hardware as the iPhone and that there are other Android phones with even more powerful hardware than the iPhone makes it crap? Reply
  • at80eighty - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Android is a lame copy of the iPhone with crap hardware

    well alright then - looks like the Brainwash2000 MAChinery did a good job with you
  • glynor - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    I don't know... I'm no Apple fanboy but I've never understood why people get all excited about the supposedly superior Nexus One hardware:

    1. Crappy 6-bit dithered screen with horrible super-saturated color reproduction.
    2. Multitouch broken in hardware.
    3. 512MB of onboard Flash memory all that's available for applications.

    Yes, it does have a really nice main processor, but that's really about all it has going for it hardware wise. The rest is at best equal to the much-earlier iPhone 3GS, and at worst isn't even up to that level.

    Don't get me wrong... I love the open nature of the platform. But I really don't like MANY of the choices that both HTC and Motorola made in these current iterations.
  • n0nsense - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    LOL :)
    iPhone is a gadget. It has tons of apps, but has to be tweaked to be a powerful tool.
    As for crap hardware, Nexus is one step ahead of iPhone, while many others on pair. Of course there are tons of cheaper (crappier)devices, but they are good for market share. More devices, more developers.
    Don't get me wrong, I prefer plain Linux on my mobile (something like MeeGo), but if i had to choose, iPhone and Winmo sharing the last place.
  • bupkus - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    I'm sitting here with my Palm Treo Pro with Windows Mobile 6.1 and while understanding the douse and flame approach I'm wondering why just because my desktop Windows gets service releases I had imagined my phone would receive the same?
    Silly me.
  • gnesterenko - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Droid for me. Thanks for clarifying. Reply
  • kanabalize - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    unless android has lotsa eyecandy(icon style, chic GUI design) like iphoneOS, its going to be dead....

    Remember the real consumer is the non-technological savvy users not people who reads alot of reviews and familiar with the technology...

    when people have to choose between iphone and other android phone they aren't really care about what is behind the OS but what is right there in front of their eyes....
  • dhaoracle - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - link

    I'm mad that this world is still naive idiots when it comes to things of any such. I might do that with a nice piece of ass but i will at least to get to know whats her name and what she's doing here(wherever).
    And why is anyone talking about Windows Mobile 6.5. stop hating and do your research. Google is nothing but eye-candy nothing else but a pretty balloon with lots of helium and pastry at the bottom. thats it nothing more nothing less.I would go with iPhone before Android and i hate iPhone...
  • darwinosx - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Looks like the juvenile Droid ads found a sucker. Reply
  • CSMR - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    It makes sense. Android is competitive or almost competitive with WM6.5. Now WM has lost most of its features while android will only improve. Reply
  • deputc26 - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Seriously why no Android review? It is the most power-user friendly mobile platform. 2.1 is far superior to WinMo 6.5. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    I'm working on a review of the AT&T Nexus One :)

    Take care,
  • pcfxer - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Android is far easier to develop for than WM and iPhone. For my engineering project my team is developing a device for non-verbal users. Reply
  • pro5 - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    Is android Java only? (I don't know) but if so that would reason enough for me not to develop for it. C# and objective C are 'bad enough' but java has always left me cold (I'm a C++ coder mainly).

    If it can use native C++ then great, still doesn't make up for it's other short comings. The only real advantage I see to Android is how 'open' it is, but really that's more of killer than a helper in the dev community (if money is your goal). How does the GPU compare to Winphone for example? Where is the 'standard' development target (screen size, hardware features). Stuff like iPhone and WP7 are 'easier' to develop for because you never need to 2nd guess the user's hardware config or screen size (ok 2 sizes in the case of WP7 in future)
  • Penti - Monday, March 22, 2010 - link

    Android has the NDK so you can run native code, you don't need to run your code in dalvik. That means C and C++. Just as any other Linux based Phone OS. Such as WebOS. Of course Maemo too. Bada too of course, and of course none Linux based Symbian.

    The shit runs at the same hardware so what's your problem? Nobody is forcing you to develop for free. That you can release your apps without review is not a bad thing. Apps such as Firefox (Fennec) are ported to Maemo and being ported to Android. There's an Alpha for WinMo too. Something that can't be done on iPhone OS or Blackberry. Or WP7. If you only want to develop for a specific phone thats fine, but then you miss millions of other users. Even if you do android apps you don't need to support every single phone there is. Old phones won't be upgraded to newer versions of Android OS any way. And it's really the software platform that should have the focus any way.
  • jms102285 - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Hey Anand, I sent you an E-mail regarding what the implications of Microsoft Communications Server just before the release of the WP7 is.... I haven't heard anything back yet in over a week from anyone I mailed about it.

    Are you guys tight-lipped about it because of NDAs or something???
  • CSMR - Sunday, March 21, 2010 - link

    Not really ("> but hopefully it will be within a year.
    I'm hoping that it will get full, reliable exchange support (e-mail+calendar+tasks+scheduling meetings+search server etc.).

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