Microsoft on WP7 Storage: microSD Cards ‘Are of Poor Quality’

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Microsoft has reiterated its stance on supporting consumer memory upgrades of Windows Phone 7 devices (it doesn’t), and more interestingly, blames the poor quality of microSD cards for its decision. In a statement to longtime Redmond observer Paul Thurrott, General Manager of the Windows Phone 7 Developer Experience Charlie Kindel argued that the entire technology suffers from inconsistent manufacturing. “Even with high end cards, we have seen wild differences in IO and performance,” Kindel reportedly said.

He apparently went on to really badmouth the cards, stating that “In most cases, users will have issues. Most cards are of poor quality, and there’s no way we can control that or recommend a certain type of card. If you happen to get a good card, with the right performance and IO characteristics, it will work reliably. But even a bad card will appear to work at first, and the device will boot.”

So if microSD cards are truly the devil that Kindel makes them out to be, then why did Microsoft approve their use as a key storage component in Chassis 1 specifications? From what we hear, the answer is cost: microSD cards are relatively cheap and readily available, unlike flash NAND (solid state memory modules) which still suffers from price-hiking shortages. Kindel, however, claims that Microsoft didn’t want to burden the user with two filesystems, which would be the case if microSD cards were seen by the OS as external and not internal storage.

The whole issue still feels very anti-consumer to us: Microsoft is encouraging manufacturers to incorporate an admittedly shoddy technology in their devices, and on top of that denies users the ability to upgrade, most likely so carriers can sell different versions of the same handset with tiered memory configurations. Frankly, we’re not buying the microSD blame game Redmond is attempting to play here, and we wish the company would be more honest about its intentions.

Source: Windows Phone Secrets

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Evan Blass
Evan is no longer associated with Pocketnow. The below contact form will redirect to a general mailbox.