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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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….
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.