By Jaime Rivera | February 20, 2010 8:57 AM
Well, Windows Phone 7 Series is here and even though it’s a mouth full to pronounce, everyone is talking about it. As a follow-up to our predictions from before the show, it’s no secret that Microsoft clearly exceeded what most of us where expecting on the new OS, so let’s see what we did catch right:
For Windows Mobile 7 I predict that the display will have to be at least a AMOLED WVGA resolution with capacitive-multitouch. The RAM to support the new operating system will need to be around 512MB and the internal memory should be 1GB or greater. There will need to be an internal accelerometer and compass to use advanced orientation software such as Google street view like on the HTC Hero to utilize the proposed gesture feature. A 5 mega pixel camera is a must as well as the capability to record at least a 720p if not 1080p videos. Of course the devices will need to incorporate assisted GPS. The ports that will probably be included on the WM7 hardware will be a mini-HDMI, a micro-USB, a 3.5mm headphone jack with SPDIF optical audio. The card memory should be able to support 128GB micro SD memory. Hopefully new battery technologies are implemented. I would also like to see a proximity sensor, light sensor, and dual microphones for noise canceling speakerphone. And my final prediction for hardware would be an integrated projector.
As a result, everything will turn out to be WVGA and with capacitive-multitouch, though AMOLED is still not a requirement. Sadly very little was said about the minimum required specs, so we still have more to confirm on this part.
I predict that Windows Mobile 7 will indeed ship on devices this holiday season, but on a limited basis. I imagine Microsoft will line up a hardware partner (HTC comes to mind) to help deliver the first wave of Windows Mobile 7 devices, which will shine as the best experience possible. There will be strict guidelines that OEM partners must follow: 1GHz CPU required with 512MB of RAM and 1GB of ROM.
I don’t think that there will be a Zune phone at MWC. It’s likely that Microsoft has built Zune software to replace Windows Media Player mobile, and that “Zune” on Windows Mobile will be like “iPod” on the iPhone.
I think that overall, the interface of Windows Mobile 7 will be similar to what we’ve seen in leaks. There will be a couple of killer features to the operating system that will make it stand above Android, iOS, and WebOS. That could be special gesture support, integration with Xbox, or a software framework that makes app development super easy and fast.
I see there being just one edition of Windows Mobile 7, with 6.5.3 co-existing until at least 2011.
Our predictions on seeing a new Windows Phone OS this holiday season are correct. No hardware partners have yet been mentioned aside from the ones we already know, and again, specs are still unclear. Microsoft didn’t release a “Zune Phone” specifically, but Windows Phone 7 series is everything a Zune Phone would be. Windows Phone 7 Series is in no way even close to what we thought it would be, but Brandon was right on the Xbox integration. Whether 7 and 6.5.3 will co-exist is still something we’re waiting to hear, and most likely will.
Just as Microsoft has Windows 7 Home, Ultimate, I predict a:
- Windows Phone Ultimate (completely revamped UI based on the Zune OS)
- Windows Phone Professional (Based on the current Windows Mobile 6.5.x concept)
- Windows Phone Standard (Based on the current Windows Mobile Standard)
The whole idea behind this process is to allow Pro and Standard users a last chance to evolve to ultimate. This is because there are just too many enterprise devices and applications that won’t evolve that easily.
- Close integration with Zune.. As a matter of fact I see Zune evolving to become a phone and that being Windows Phone 7 Ultimate. This will mark the death of Windows Mobile Classic
- All devices are now fully capacitive (high quality glass screens required), multi-touch capable, slimmer, and faster processors and storage specs.
- Microsoft gains more control over the OS allowing for OTA updates.
- More API’s for higher quality games and applications
- A newer version of Office, though not many changes on this department.
- No more .Cab installs… We’ll be stuck to the new marketplace process that protects developers from piracy.
- As always, Microsoft will bet it all on this new enhancement to the point of making most if not all of us to have to buy a new phone to get the goods. Sad strategy,.. But true. I’d bet devices will start being sold in Fall 2010.
- Internet Explorer mobile 7 will rock.. Finally!
It turns out we still can’t get what Microsoft is intending with a “Series”, but it makes all the sense in the world that they’ll eventually pull a Starter, Ultimate and many other editions to the whole series concept. My predictions on a totally new UI based on the Zune OS were correct, though what’ll happen to the current Standard and Professional editions is yet to be talked about. Given Microsoft is not going to allow OEMs to tweak the OS, we could assume we’re correct in seeing them fully control updates. We’ll have to wait for MIX in order to see what APIs are coming. Yes, we did see a new Office Hub, but we’re still unsure of what they’ll push to a new level. Given they’re dropping the whole softkey UI, there have to be changes in how the new Office will work, but chances are it still could suck.
Since we haven’t yet seen something even close to a file explorer, we’re still not sure CAB installs will be allowed, though it’s the way other OS’ are going and taking developers with them, so this would be the smartest road to follow. Sadly, everything you knew about Windows Mobile in what pertains to third party apps and devices will soon be a thing of the past, so we were right in predicting they’ll continue with the “Buy a new phone if you want the goods” strategy, and yes, IE7 (or what ever it is) is looking good.
In the end, most of us love what we see, but are a bit upset at the fact that there’s a lot more to be polished on the OS before we’re certain on what to expect. As Windows Mobile power users, we are expecting a lot more than what we saw two days ago, so let’s hope the guys at Redmond keep that in mind and begin showing some love for real information.