If the image pictured here is authentic — and we have no reason to believe it’s not — then it appears that Best Buy is poised to stock the very first 32GB microSD cards certified for Windows Phone 7; in fact, this class 4 model from PNY might be the first card of any capacity to declare itself fit for WP7 usage. Despite an otherwise successful rollout, Microsoft thoroughly dropped the ball when it came to memory expansion on the new platform: just one launch phone, the Samsung Focus, had a user-accessible microSD slot (although almost every model has one hidden beneath warranty-voiding stickers), and only certain cards would allegedly work without problems with the OS.
Unfortunately, neither Microsoft nor AT&T bothered to enact a certification process pre-launch, so Focus owners were left with a lot of conflicting information, but no cards guaranteed to work. This resulted in Redmond employees reportedly buying up every card they could find in order to test them and publish a compatibility list; to our knowledge, however, no such list has ever been distributed. In fact, the handful of SanDisk card that were briefly given the thumbs up for Focus installation suddenly disappeared from that company’s own short list; the phone is no longer listed among the eight hundred-plus other Sammy models in SanDisk’s compatibility checking tool.
It’s now three months past the European WP7 device launch and there’s still no definitive way to tell which cards will work and which cards won’t (we had no trouble swapping a random card into a Surround, but who knows if it will remain stable long-term). Therefore it’s refreshing to finally see a manufacturer come out with a card that boasts WP7-friendliness right on the front of the packaging. We weren’t told when this model is expected to hit shelves, and because it’s not even listed on PNY’s site (nor any other retailer’s), we’re not sure how much it will cost, either. Best Buy sells the company’s class 2 16GB microSD card for $60.
Update: Commenter Adam points out that the marketing copy may refer to the fact that the bundled, downloadable movies are “now compatible with Windows Phone 7,” and not the card itself. Still, according to wpcentral, anecdotal evidence suggests that PNY cards work well in WP7 devices.
Update 2: Yup, the developer behind the PNY app even issued a press release touting its Silverlight-powered movie player for WP7, so we’d say they’re definitely talking about the movies, and not the cards.