updated 12:35 pm EDT, Mon April 12, 2010
MS admits WP7 will follow iPhone strategy
Microsoft's Charlie Kindel in a Dutch speech Sunday acknowledged that Windows Phone 7's development was similar to that of the iPhone. He was quick to acknowledge that the new mobile OS was often pursuing "Apple's line." While he tried to cast the decisions as coincidences, Kindel said that many of the tough choices in OS policy ended up mirroring those made for the iPhone and App Store.
Among the decisions so far have included dropping multitasking, a refusal to allow custom interfaces like HTC's Sense UI, and a requirement that all apps get approval before they reach the Windows Phone Marketplace. While introducing some of the most frequently cited drawbacks, they also carry side benefits such as fast, consistently available firmware updates.
Kindel added that Microsoft's feature addition strategy would, if unintentionally, also follow Apple. Windows Phone 7 will get copy-and-paste text soon after launch and multitasking in unspecified future updates. iPhone 4.0 will add multitasking this summer and will ironically support multitasking for months before Microsoft's latest platform.
In spite of the similarities, Microsoft still expects to have some advantages over the iPhone. Updates will come over the air rather than require a client download, Kindel said. He added that the app greenlighting process will be more transparent and set ground rules in advance rather than follow Apple's approach, where some developers have had apps posted to the App Store only to see them pulled after a sudden rule change.
Windows Phone 7 is a major gamble for Microsoft that Apple's approach of tight hardware and software integration can work in a device-independent OS strategy. Many have contended that the decline of Windows Mobile has stemmed from an overly strong dependence on carriers and phone makers, many of which either couldn't take advantage of features or else would never get updates as carriers and designers decided that the upgrade wouldn't be worth the effort. [via WMPowerUser]