If you’re going to have to switch anyway…

WMExperts has a story about the specs for the new Windows 7 Chassis 1, a technical spec or baseline upon which hardware makers will base their first Windows 7 phones. Take a close look at this list and see if anything jumps out at you.

WM7 Chassis 1 Specification

Core requirements:
Processor: ARM v6+, L2 Cache, VFP, Open GL ES 2.0 graphics HW (QCOM 8k, Nvidia AP15/16* and TI 3430 all meet spec)
Memory: 256MB+ DRAM, 1G+ Flash (at least 512MB fast flash – 5MB/s unbuffered read @4K block size)
Display:  WVGA (800×480) or FWVGA (854×480) 3.5” or greater diagonal
Touch: Multi-touch required
Battery: Sufficient to meet Days of Use LTK requirements.
Controls: Start, Back, Send and End are required (soft controls allowed as long as they are always present).


Camera: 3MP+, flash optional, 2nd camera optional (VGA resolution sufficient)
GPS: aGPS required
Sensors required: Light Sensor, Compass (3 axis, 5 degrees, 100 Hz sample rate), Accelerometer (3 axis, 2mg resolution, 100 Hz sample rate)
USB: High speed required, 20 MB/s transfer rate.
BlueTooth: BT2.1 required, must run MSFT BT stack, CSR BlueCore6 or later recommended.
Wi-Fi: 802.11B/G required, must run MSFT Native Wi-Fi stack, Atheros 6002 or Broadcomm 4325 recommended.
Connectors: Micro USB and 3.5mm Audio required.

FM tuner:  If tuner HW is present it will be detected and supported by the Media application.
SD Card (Micro SD recommended)
DPAD, qwerty or 12/20 key keyboards all optional

Think about this. The new Windows 7 hardware is going to require multitouch. This means it’s going to require capacitive touchscreens, different hardware from the current resistive touchscreens that itself requires a completely different, finger-friendly user interface. A stylus will be useless on these devices, which means none (or most) of your existing software won’t work.

We can see from this spec list that Windows 7 will be a clean break from previous versions of Windows Mobile, even from 6.5, which itself requires users to buy new hardware if they want the OS. (Though it’s more than capable of running 6.5 my Sprint Touch Pro isn’t eligible for the upgrade. Why? Because the home button is a little house rather than a Windows flag and Microsoft mandates a Windows flag home button on all 6.5 devices.)

New hardware. New OS. New software. And you need to wait until mid to late 2010 to get it. If you’re going to deal with all that change anyway, are you really going to wait for Windows Mobile?

I didn’t. I bought an iPhone.

3 thoughts on “If you’re going to have to switch anyway…”

  1. Never, ever buy a WinMo device, because you can pretty much guarantee that you will never, ever get an OS upgrade. Meanwhile, Apple has had how many – 10, 12 – upgrades to their phone OS already? All of them free? (And only a nominal charge for iPod Touch users?). And Android users are about to get updates too.

    Microsoft is running ads talking about the “Apple tax”, but I see this failure to upgrade their phone OS on all devices as a huge Microsoft tax. Basically, the tax amounts to a new hardware device every year.

  2. “(Though its more than capable of running 6.5 my Sprint Touch Pro isnt eligible for the upgrade. Why? Because the home button is a little house rather than a Windows flag and Microsoft mandates a Windows flag home button on all 6.5 devices.)”

    Well, that’s not 100% true, and even the guys at the WinMo dev house said the same to me, that that requirement isn’t set in stone.

    That, coupled with the fact that there have been a few Gigabyte phones that don’t have a Windows key but have been announced that they will receive a 6.5 upgrade after launch makes me think that that rule can be bent.

    You won’t see an upgrade however due to Sprint probably not liking the idea, and HTC likely wanting to push people to new hardware anyway. Business decisions, unfortunately, which frustrate me slightly [I’d LOVE to see an official upgrade for my Omnia].

    This new set of hardware for the “Pink” platform sounds promising.

    Your final sentence is especially telling: you’ve switched to an iPhone, and this won’t be available until 2010… surely that means that you’d consider the platform _when it’s released?_


    Until it does come out however, I’m probably going to end up with a Pre. Maybe. Perhaps. We’ll see. The Diamond2 is ultra sexy, and the resolution on it is simply divine for Web Browsing…

  3. Sadly, I think by the time WM7 finally hits, most of its userbase will have moved on to the webOS, iPhone or Blackberry, and no one will care. WM7 would have been a game changer last year, but by late next year it’s going to look tired and derivative the day it’s released.

    Also, historically I switch platforms every 3 years, so I was due. (Palm 1997-2000, Pocket PC 2000-2003, Palm 2003-2006, Windows Mobile 2006-2009, iPhone 2009-?)

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