When some one says their phone has a dual-core processor, that sounds very impressive. It means one side of the processor can be doing one thing while the other side is doing another. It’s very advantageous to multitasking scenarios, provided the operating system is designed to handle the two processors well enough to take full advantage of them.
Windows Phone 7 is not designed to take full advantage of multiple processors or multi-threaded applications at this time. Dual core processors take up a lot more electricity than single core processors, and Microsoft has designed Windows Phone 7 to be very fast and fluid on lowly single core, single Ghz processors so that you’ll have better battery life and won’t feel as much of a need for more powerful processors.
When we asked a Microsoft representative about why Windows Phone 7 Mango didn’t support dual core processors, he said that they want to do multiple cores in a big way and that they weren’t ready just yet. I’m guessing what he meant could mean a move to the rumored MinWin kernel which will support scaling to any number of processors since it will be the same kernel as Windows 8 and Windows 8 Server. Since the Windows Phone 7 apps are all written using the same tools used to create Windows 8 apps, it will be easier to change architectures AND bring huge performance benefits to all apps globally without the need for specific app optimizations for specific processors. With Windows 8, it sounds like some current Windows Phone 7 apps can be modified to work on multi-processor systems with just one line of code. All of the new Metro style apps being developed for Windows 8 will also support hardware GPU acceleration with no extra effort from the developers. That means with Windows 8 you’ll already have the potential for huge amounts of processing power if you want it. Microsoft just needs to bring that kind of scalability over to small smartphone devices along with a user interface that’s appropriate for a phone.
Do you think Microsoft will bring the Windows 8 kernel and multi-processor support to Windows Phone 8 “Apollo” or are multi-core CPUs unnecessary on Windows Phone?