So you picked yourself up a brand spankin’ new Windows Phone 7?  Good for you.  I’m sure like most users you’ve thoroughly enjoyed your experience so far but the glow is off and the tech-envy is seeping up seeing Android and its partnering OEMs showcase dual-core and sexy hardware phones.  Don’t be embarrassed I felt the same urge.  Instead of balling myself up in a corner sulking somewhere I march on with my awesome HTC Surround and keep my eyes focused on the prize.  I’m a techie and I love all things awesome about tech.  So here are my preliminary and brief thoughts on what the standards should be for Windows Phone 8 (Code named Apollo).  Mind you there is a Fall 2011 update codenamed Mango that will add several noteworthy features but any fragmentation after a single year would not look or bode well for the platform.  Sorry Windows 7.5 is not the answer to the minumum requirement question.

Listed in no particular order with reasoning attached:

  1. Dual-core:  With the emergence of viable dual-core Android phones set to launch in the very near future any reasonable excuse Microsoft decided to use to cover the decision to not use dual-core is now dead.  Take your time Microsoft, you have until late 2012 to verify and test it as well as you did Windows Phone 7.  Its doable so just do it!  Gaming is one of Windows Phone’s touted features so the extra horsepower and efficiency is a no-brainer.
  2. NAND memory:  Sorry but i’m not part of the “upgrade as much and as fast as you can” storage crowd.  Give me quicker responding UI, apps and games and i’m a happy camper.  We’ve seen the video comparisons for startup and performance between the Omnia 7 and competing devices.  Its simply proven to be a great choice.
  3. Dual-cameras: Video chat and more importantly augmented reality is here folks.  Microsoft needs to acknowledge this fact and give its fast growing legion of developers the tools to take full advantage of this.  Oh by the way how awesome would Windows Live Messenger be with this.  More on that later….
  4. Industry leading Gaming:  Xbox Live is the established leader and should continue to lead the way.  While some have used the fact Microsoft only recently created Microsoft Game Studios to attack the pace Microsoft is proceeding i’ll take a differing approach.  Any startup needs time to launch successful products, try out the platform and find what works best.  Now that they have done that they should be in full-on Franchise mode by the time Windows Phone 8 comes around.  I’m talking about MMO and real-time 3 Screens gaming going on.  Make it happen Microsoft, the world of gamers will thank you for it gladly.
  5. Windows Live Messenger:  Having a well received and successful Live Messenger client app on the competing iOS system and not on your very own platform is an embarrassment.  Don’t you dare try to reason yourself out of that by playing the “we’re a software company that sells software” card.  If anyone from Microsoft ever repeats this to me in person you’re getting a fresh water shower for your troubles.  Bring the Live Messenger app we all know you are able to produce, give devs access to the camera APIs and let the world know that you are still the big stick and aren’t afraid to use it.
  6. Premium Hardware Partners: Cut with the “everyone created equal” crap.  It isn’t that way in the Bible and it isn’t that way in the real world.  If a gang of victoria secret models walked through your corporate doors the buck and all productivity stops cold.  Don’t encourage, demand premium and sexy hardware.
  7. 32GB Minimum Storage: With your ever expanding and enjoyable app & gaming selection its essential those who want to carry their entire music and video collection with them can.  Heck, if you want to continue to promote the cloud continue to do so.  I actually like the strategy and feel it will serve you well.  But until network carriers get off their tail and learn how to push through data to all nooks and crannies in the world this is a solid backup.
  8. Office 365 Full integration:  Microsoft possesses an amazing suite of Office products.  Too bad the products are gimped on the Windows Phone.  I do feel the emphasis on sharepoint is one of the most overlooked aspects of the platform.  Thats one less corporate thing Microsoft has to do from the ground up come update time.  Now get to making it more enjoyable for the consumer.  I want to be able to create docs on the go and upload back to the Cloud and sync with my PC in real-time.  Office 365 should and could be a major differentiator and its up to Microsoft to make sure that happens.

Well there you have it folks, my initial thoughts on what should be included in the Windows Phone Apollo update due out in 2012.  Too far away you say?  Its already the middle of January 2011 and in the tech world time flies fast!  Agree or disagree with something I said?  Fine, just be sure to voice it in the comments below or in the forums.

8 COMMENTS

  1. A perk, to the Windows Phone Loyals (like myself). Optional Hardware Upgrade. Trade your existing WP7 device for a fresh WP8 device. That will keep us coming back.

    As for Mobility Digest: a Twitter sign in for comments would be extremely convenient!

  2. A good idea. At least pay any ETF for WP7 users looking to upgrade. Cut a deal with the carriers.

  3. @murani lewis:

    Yeah at the very least. Would be definitely an unusual concept, that would get attention. But could cause a bit of a issue with the OEMs themselves, when their devices are traded in by the masses. On upside, though, they would have more than enough recycling materials, which would save the literally millions in costs.

  4. Here’s one for the list. A real battery. That means no less than 1800 mAh, and preferably something closer to 2000 mAh. Sure, I know it may add a few mm’s and maybe even a few grams, but it will also inporve the user experience, especially with those cameras & messenger running in the background.

    But for the weaklings out there, how about this for a concept. Standard issue: 2000 mAh battery, and as an available option (about 6 months after release as usual) a 1300 mAh battery with a new thinner back cover. Now that would be something.

  5. In the next update to the hardware specs I’d love to see explicit support for a fingerprint scanner (e.g. similar to what the LG Expo had) as an optional component.

    This would be supported as an alternate means of unlocking the device (vs a PIN), and could (optionally) be merged into one of the existing hardware buttons – perhaps the Start button?

    For everyone who uses a device PIN-lock (i.e. who doesn’t want to allow anyone free access to their entire set of contacts, email, appointments, facebook account, etc., etc.) this would greatly increase the “glance and go” capability of their phone by significantly reducing the time (and attention) necessary to unlock it.

    Currently, if all you want to do is check a quick piece of info from a live tile (that’s not on the lock screen itself) or record a 2-3 word aide memoire, it probably takes as much or more time to turn on and navigate through the lock screen than it does to actually perform the intended task!

    With a fingerprint scanner that could become simply “press (activating the screen) and swipe” on one button in one motion of a single thumb/finger – less than a second from start to finish.

  6. I like Steve B’s suggestion for the finger print scanner. I almost want to disable my pin lock to make the phone quicker to use…but won’t because of potential privacy issues.

  7. They should put a smaller version of the Kinect sensor on the phone to allow for instant recognition without a password being required to use the phone. Also, allow for hand gestures during a presentation. And wireless video streams for presentations.

    Now that would get a lot of sales of WP!

  8. Im sorry but who ever wrote this article is basing it on a baised idea. they mention a lot about more physical phone upgrades where WP8 is a software based upgrade and especially the Xbox live comment cause the industry lead in gaming is actually nintendo considering they have more sales than any of the other platforms also PS3 is big and PS2 is still around so that is only the writers idea of what he wants.

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