My last year hopes and predictions for Windows Phone

04 June 2011

I wrote this last year in august 2010 a few months after attending Mix 10. I forgot to publish it then but it makes interesting reading now, completely unedited I promise! We got the first 4 at least;)

5 things in 12 months - what windows phone 7 needs to lead the smartphone wars

Windows Phone 7 is coming. There are many many positives to what Microsoft are bringing to the table. Xbox live, Zune pass, Office integration, a great developer experience and the lovely, expansive Metro UI will surely provide a platform that consumers will love and that Microsoft will be able to build on and extend well into the coming decade.

However, the platform, like all new platforms, is missing some key features. These are what I see are the 5 key missing features that simply must be addressed within the first 12 months of launch.

  1. Voip. The number one annoyance I will have with switching (and yes i will be switching from my trusty iphone) will be losing Skype. My understanding is that this is because of limitations in the .net compact framework that means there are simply no socket apis available. With iPhone and android both supporting Skype over 3G even, this could be a deal breaker for some and is a killer app for many.

  2. Copy and paste. People do use it and it is important. It is kind of ironic to see the Office integration in windows phone 7 but not for example be able to copy and paste text around whilst editing a word document. It’s also a bit of a marketing disaster and something I would have thought would have been further up the food chain.

  3. Multitasking - this needs to be done well, and I can understand why its not there, but a greater element of 3rd party multitasking will be required for more common scenarios now experienced with other platforms. My own personal opinion is that multitasking should be controllable by the user selectively li push notifications or location services. Not all apps require backgrounding and they shouldn’t run in the background if the aren’t required to do so

  4. HTML 5/CSS3 capable browser. Ie mobile 7/8 on wp7 is actually very snappy and does a very good job at general browsing. However, there is a rich seam of mobile web apps emerging that will not be able to run on wp7 until this support is forthcoming. The last thing microsoft will want is to be lumbered with an aging browser on the mobile side of things as well as on desktop with ie6. I really think microsoft should dump ie mobile and switch to webkit and focus their efforts on the os and integrating plugin support. But that would never happen alas!

  5. Flash and silverlight support - flash support is promised within months of windows phone 7s launch, this needs to happen. Flash on wp7 will provide parity with android and put pressure on apple as they will then be the only major platform without flash support. It also make sense that consumers should be able to play silverlight web video and apps through a device that has silverlight core to the platform itself.

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