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Some Good and Bad News From Mix10

As I’m sure you all know, Mix10 started today and MS was talking about developing for WP7. There was a lot that happened today and we don’t want to overwhelm you with the nitty gritty but here’s an overview of some of the things that stuck out. Thanks to Auri (from TAG) who is a developer who was onsite and provided a lot of insight as to the event.

The Good:

  • Overall it seems that Mix10 has a lot of developers in attendance and overall is getting positive feedback which is good news in convincing developers that WP7 is the way to go
  • You can register your phone on a developer portal, and that “Developer Unlocks” your phone. Anyone guess where this is going?:)
  • MS is providing a lot of free tools to developers and it appears that the tools are fairly robust and easy to use
  • Lots of apps were previewed including: a Netflix app that lets you stream movies in real time and adjust the bitrate to ensure smooth streaming and the ability to resume movies; a Seesmic app (which shares the code from the desktop version; video games with 3D renderings were previewed (which link to XBox Live achievements); Shazam; AP; Foursquare’s Twitter app among others. There are lots of developers on board already
  • Silverlight is the full version without limitations
  • Apps load where they are supposed to. In other words, if you want an app to edit photos it becomes an extension of the WP7 UI and is accessed when viewing photos. The benefit is that in viewing photos you can go straight to editing so there’s no need to switch to a third party app – it all gets integrated
  • Push notifications are non-intrusive and can be active even if the app is not running
  • Multitasking exists beyond the iPhone (so music will work in the background even if it’s Pandora for example)
  • Developers can access all of the hardware and sensors regardless of manufacturer (unlike the current situation where we need HTC to release APIs to us the HD2 digital compass)
  • Minimum specs:
  • Capacitive Touch: 4 or more contact points
    Sensors: A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity
    Camera: 5 megapixels or more, Camera  with a flash and dedicated camera button
    Multimedia: Common detailed specs, Codec acceleration
    Memory: 256 MB, 8 GB Flash or more
    GPU: DirectX 9 acceleration
    Processor: ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion or better
    2 screen sizes: 480×800 WVGA, 480×320 HVGA
    Keyboard: Optional
    Hardware Buttons: Must be fixed on the face

  • Marketplace is integrated so when you’re listening to music you can buy music from there and in the games hub you can buy games there for example. Again, no need to leave and go to another app.
  • Activesync is gone. Zune is used to sync and photos automatically sync wirelessly
  • Office is looking good
  • Asus and an LG with a keyboard were shown
  • Simple speculation on my behalf, but based on the fact that it’s Silverlight and the ease of developing apps, it looks lie there will be a multiple of more apps available for WP7 at launch than there are in the current 6.5 Marketplace
  • Apps are not phone specific – they are lined to your Live ID and can go with you
  • Seems like the battery is replaceable (man that was close)

The Bad:

  • Apps must be installed through Marketplace
  • There will not be memory cards. You must use internal memory and any memory cards need to be fixed (and not accessible to the end user)
  • You cannot change the default apps so Google Maps will never overtake Bing Maps
  • IE will be the default browser and that cannot be changed
  • The UI is fixed, which we’ve known, and all predict third parties will work around this by making an app that launches to mask a UI
  • Multitasking does not extend to VOIP apps
  • Social networking needs to be aggregated using Windows Live to be shown in the HUB


Huge thanks again to Auri for sharing his thoughts with the world and allowing me to aggregate his findings.