Tag Archive for ‘Windows Phone 7 Series’

Windows Phone 7 Series Will Have Copy and Paste, Eventually ➝

Long Zheng regarding copy and paste on Windows Phone 7 Series:

As it turns out, the development team actually knows exactly how they will be implementing copy & paste in WP7S but did not believe it could be implemented without affecting the release schedule they’ve committed to and therefore will be including it in an update down the road.

I don’t think anyone actually thought that it would never have copy and paste.

Windows Phone 7 Series at MIX10

Microsoft held their developer-focused MIX10 conference this week and revealed more details about the new platform. On Monday, Microsoft made their beta tools available for developers looking to build apps for Windows Phone 7 Series. Microsoft knows that platforms are all about third-party developers and wants to get them started early for the launch later this year.

Microsoft also took wraps off of Windows Phone Marketplace, their application distribution service. Marketplace has support for try-before-you-buy trial periods — developers choose what kind of trial period they want to offer. I’ve been hoping for an implementation of trial periods in the App Store for quite some time. Although, the ability to do in-app purchases within free applications has helped ease a little bit of the need for trial periods.

The Windows Phone Marketplace will have the familiar 70-30 split between developers and Microsoft. The Marketplace will have technical and content guidelines and each application will have to be approved by Microsoft to be listed. It will also be the only official way for most customers to get applications on their device. Enterprise customers will be able to deploy their own apps to employees without having to go through the Marketplace.

Just like with Apple’s App Store, users can re-download applications to their device at no cost. The purchases are tied to your Live account, not the device. Microsoft has also taken a page out of Apple’s book when it comes to desktop clients. Users will be able to browse and buy apps through the Zune desktop client and presumably manage which applications get installed on their device when they sync it.

Microsoft also demoed their version of push notification for the platform, named Microsoft Notification Service. The notifications come in through a bar across the top of the display, tapping the notification opens the app. Just like the iPhone’s notifications, they are available whether the application is running or not. Microsoft hasn’t come out and said that they won’t allow background tasks but since they’ve been following Apple’s model to a T, I have a feeling background apps won’t be coming any time soon.

Unfortunately, just like Apple’s launch of the iPhone, there won’t be copy and paste at launch, I’m bet they’re at least testing it but they haven’t shown much interest in actually releasing it. Engadget’s Nilay Patel talked with Microsoft’s Todd Brix about copy and paste. Brix said that users don’t use copy and paste very often. Instead of implementing copy and paste Microsoft decided to use a system-wide data detection service that recognizes phone numbers, email addresses, URLs, etc. Tapping on them opens the corresponding application. Apple had the luxury of being able to wait 2 years before releasing copy and paste because they were ahead of the game. But, Microsoft is going to be 3 years behind Apple when handsets start hitting the market later this year. If Microsoft wants to be taken seriously, they better be working on copy and paste.

Microsoft demoed several applications on stage at MIX10, including the Associated Press, Foursquare, Shazam, Major League Soccer, Seesmic, among others. Engadget’s Nilay Patel wrote a great piece detailing many of these applications, including some video demos.

A Netflix streaming application was also demoed on stage. They went out of their way to call it a prototype but Netflix has clearly laid the groundwork for them to release a full fledged application when they decide to do so.

Microsoft also demoed the ability for applications to plug into native components of the software. For example, a photo editing application could identify itself as such and would allow you to launch it from within the photo viewer. In essence, if you want to deal with photos no matter how, the photo viewer will give you all of your options.

Microsoft is doing everything right with the launch of this platform, I can honestly say that it’s impressive. I won’t be switching anytime soon, but I’m glad to see another viable platform coming to market.

I’d like to give a tip of the hat to Engadget for their fantastic coverage of the conference. They were the source for nearly everything written in this piece. Rarely does any one weblog cover such an event so thoroughly.

Halo Effect ➝

Chris Ziegler reports on Engadget that Microsoft isn’t closing the door on Mac support for Windows Phone 7 Series.

Ziegler reveals that there are internal discussions at Microsoft about whether support for Windows Phone 7 Series will go beyond Windows.

I bought my first Mac in September 2006, it was a MacBook. One of the biggest reasons I purchased a Mac was because of my experience with my iPod. I received an iPod for Christmas the previous year and absolutely loved how simple and easy the iPod itself and iTunes was to use. Everything fit together seamlessly and I was incredibly curious to see how well the rest of Apple’s products worked. Needless to say, I was pleased.

If Microsoft wants to win back Windows users from the Mac, the best thing they could do is to announce support for Windows Phone 7 Series and the Zune HD on the Mac. I’ll openly admit that if the Zune desktop software was available for the Mac I would download and try it with an open mind.

Windows Phone 7 Series

I’ve watched a few demos of Microsoft’s newly announced Windows Phone 7 Series and while I’m glad that Microsoft finally did something new, I’m not sure how I feel about the actual design of the software.

I’m glad that they finally decided to break backwards compatibility, especially since (whether Microsoft knows it or not) Windows Mobile died years ago. The lack of backwards compatibility might be the kick in the pants Windows Mobile developers needed to build better applications. Nothing helps developers build great software than an interesting platform to write for and this is certainly an interesting platform.

The most striking difference between Windows Mobile and Phone 7 Series is the home screen which uses tiles. I don’t really like the home screen as it doesn’t seem to fit with the design of the applications. While the home screen clearly indicates what can and can’t be tapped making use of the tiles, the typographic interface of the applications themselves doesn’t really differentiate between tappable, un-tappable, and swipe-able text with any type of visual cue.

I haven’t actually used the device and the experience could be completely different once I get my hands on it, but I don’t see the interface as being very inviting to use. It looks like it was designed as something to look at, but not something to interact with.

I’m happy that Microsoft finally built in Zune integration, but this is a predictable move, and I can’t imagine the amount of complaining that would occur if Microsoft didn’t build in Zune integration. Windows Mobile has never really had a great Microsoft-built desktop syncing interface and I hope that the Zune software will be that software.

Microsoft has been very hush hush regarding multi-tasking for this platform. The rumor is that Windows Phone 7 Series won’t have “true” multi-tasking, instead implementing it similarly to how Apple does. In other words, if there is multi-tasking it will likely only be enabled on the music app, email app, and a few other default apps.

One of the most interesting aspects of this announcement is that Microsoft will be setting minimum specs for handsets. This isn’t something Microsoft has really done in the past and will certainly help push the platform to where it needs to be. Microsoft will be dictating the aspect ratio of displays, Wi-Fi is required, AGPS is required, along with standards on what buttons you must have. My first worry here is that every manufacturer will be building essentially the same device. Competing based on price is exactly what’s plaguing the PC market — I don’t think this is the direction Microsoft needs to be going if they expect there to be any innovation. However, I might be eating my words if Microsoft continues to raise the minimum requirements of handsets and somehow manages to keep people interested with further software updates. I’m weary of these types of requirements but they could end up being a blessing in disguise (no matter how much handset makers hate them).

I think Microsoft did exactly what they needed to do in order to breathe new life into their stale mobile division. This is what Microsoft should have done years ago. It’s unfortunate that it took Apple and Google jumping into the cell phone game for Microsoft to finally do this. Microsoft is a software company filled with really smart developers — sometimes I just can’t understand why they’re unwilling to innovate unless someone else is beating them to the punch. It’s almost as if Microsoft can’t actually get anything done unless there is a sense of urgency.