MIX10: Windows Phone 7 Series Will Not Have a File Manager Nor USB Mass Storage Mode

One of the great features for Windows Mobile is a true file management system that allows users to handle files seamlessly, whether they be Office files or multimedia files on mobile. However, with the new user experience introduced with Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business Senior Director Todd Brix has revealed to us that the company will enable a different methodology for file management on the next-generation mobile OS. Rather than have the traditional File Explorer, Microsoft will hide all the file structure from end-users, much like the iPhone, and instead will offer to organize files into relevant hubs, as one method. The company did not reveal any details in our brief conversation, but files will be automatically handled by the platform, from synchronization with the PC or cloud to arranging and managing the content and data on the device.

Another reason–that I am speculating–that Windows Phone 7 Series will not need–at least for most average consumers–a file management system is that there will be a device Search feature–enabled via the search hardware button, which is one of three hardware buttons on the front of the device just below the screen. Moreover, having a file system may seem redundant–again, for the target demographics, which is the average consumer–if the device can categorize and organize files in a logical, natural manner through hubs. Though power users migrating from Windows Mobile may feel cheated, Microsoft’s core demographics for Windows Phone 7 is the average consumer so tradeoffs had to be made.

Also, as a consequent to lacking a true file management system, gone will be USB mass storage mode, which was a popular feature for users to plug their phones into a PC and mount their storage card on their desktop to quickly access or migrate data between PCs.

At this point, as far as we know, to get music and media to and from your Windows Phone 7 Series device, you’ll need to utilize the Dorado client, which is the Zune/Zune HD synchronization client for the PC, and Office files will be transferred in a method that hasn’t been detailed at this time.

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Chuong Nguyen