Network World reported the following regarding Michael Scherotter ( Microsoft’s Media Experience Evangelist):

Although generally enthusiastic about Phone 7, some developers in the audience expressed disappointment that their apps will not be able to multitask, meaning run concurrently with other apps. Scherotter said while a few major apps will be able to multitask, such as Pandora, the music streaming app that will play in the background while the user is doing something else, independent apps will not, for now. Scherotter said that eventually, independent apps will be multitask-capable, but he wouldn’t say when that would be.

Man this seriously reminds me of the same exact story we heard in March. Too lazy to check the hyperlink? Here’s what we wrote then:

Charlie Kindle who gave an interview at Mix10 to PCMag.  And they report “Like the iPhone, Windows Phone 7 won’t support third-party apps being able to run in the background. But third parties will get access to a wider range of services than are available on the iPhone. For instance, Pandora could stream in the background using a special background-music service, Kindel said. But VoIP apps will be limited; there won’t be a service to allow third-party apps to access telephony in the background.

Both said the same thing about the same app. Kindel hasn’t repeated the statement nor has anyone else from MS. And this begs the question as to how the app would be killed since there’s no task manager for MS so they need a mechanism still. Maybe they’ll use smart multitasking and if you pause the music then it closes and if it’s playing it remains alive (since it’s obvious that it’s alive from the sound and all. Anyway, this can’t be viewed in a bubble. Todd Brix explicitly stated that Pandora would not background task so all of this leads me to know that we don’t know.

UPDATE: Michael was nice enough to email me a clarification on this topic:

Third party application will not have the ability to run in the background.  Applications can play music or other sounds from their local music library and have that music continue to play once the application closes.  To see an example of that you can try running the Music+Video Hub Sample in the emulator here:

ClearChannel has an iHeart Radio application on the marketplace that will stream music while the application is running.


  1. WinPhone 7.1 better be no more than 6 months away. in fact that should be the release schedule, every 6 months a point release – until it is feature complete. Then a 12 or 18 month major release.

  2. @john: It’s actually sort of known – it’s about 3 months off. In it, we know we’re getting copy and paste, Bing maps with live directions, IE extensions to Silverlgiht/Flash and some version of multi-switching it’s not multitasking but a way to go between apps easier from what I understand. It sounds like a January/February release.

  3. I wish MS would allow the user to decide that they want multitasking. This is all in the name of preventing rogue applications from killing the user experience by draining battery/performance in the background. It’s pretty much like taking a sledge hammer to fix a watch.

    I wrote an app for WM that is only about 200 lines of code. It does one simple thing: periodically chimes if you have waiting email, voicemail, messages, missed calls, etc. It’s so simple. It’s a service (true service) and has no UI (the config app has a UI, but it only runs when you are changing settings).

    It starts automatically on boot, uses the notification queue for scheduling (as opposed to actively pinging and using CPU), has nearly zero impact on battery and performance, and was/is actually quite a popular little app.

    My point is that there are some really, really simple basic things that do not in any way interfere with the user experience that are absolutely impossible to port to Windows Phone 7. I found this article while scouring the internet for some sort of hope that apps like this may appear on WP7 soon. I really don’t want to go to Android and have to relearn Java (ugh), but my Touch Pro 2 is getting pretty long in the tooth. lol.

  4. @Parrotlover77: the good news is there will be multitasking in WP7 and I think we’ll see that in about 6-9 months. The bad news, is that doesn’t mean that your utility will run. I think you’re safe with the way you describe it but for security reasons WP7 has pretty solid sandboxing. I don’t know to what degree a third aprty app can see how many emails, etc are out there. So you know – i have no knowledge as to the answer so I’m not speculating here but the restrictions are pretty tough in some cases for security reasons.

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