Emulator Findings

I alluded briefly to the emulator included in the developer tools released on the first day of MIX10. Originally, this emulator only included an Internet Explorer tile, foregoing any of the other bundled applications due to the fact that they're nowhere close to being finalized. Recently though, an enterprising developer has managed to unlock the applications that are already bundled within the ROM dump, lending some insightful new perspective to everything we didn't see at MIX10.

Obviously, there are parts of the emulator that are very polished, and other parts that are still very alpha. It's important to not get the wrong idea about this being representative of the polish of any of WP7S, and Microsoft has already made the following statement to Cnet's Ina Fried:

"When we decided to provide a Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator as part of the tools, we anticipated that people would attempt to unlock and explore the code. We have been very clear that the emulator is based on early code and is not reflective of the final user experience. Windows Phone 7 Series is still under development. The UI has been disabled to avoid confusion and allow developers to focus on testing applications on the underlying platform. We continue to recommend that developers use the emulator as provided to avoid any issues and unpredictability that may be introduced by an unlocked version."

We dug through everything that was inside quite comprehensively and have put together a short walkthrough as well as screenshots of much of the platform that likely won't make it to release. Obviously, things like the task manager are important to Microsoft engineers, but won't be present in the final build. The same can be said for Speed Type, which appears to be a tool for the WP7S team to get feedback about the most common soft keyboard typing issues for building out an autocorrect database.

GPU Acceleration Final Words
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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 Anandtech.com. :| 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 dictionary.com) 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.
    Reply
  • 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

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