updated 05:50 pm EDT, Thu June 17, 2010
Win Phone 7 a remake with knowing sacrifices
An in-depth look at Microsoft's development has revealed that the lead of Windows Phone 7 considers the mobile OS a total remake. Development head Terry Myerson labeled the major design as a "first release" and confirmed that Microsoft had virtually gutted Windows Mobile 7's graphics and interface in early 2009 to start new. The decision was "top down" and meant willingly cutting previous features, like copy-and-paste or mutlitasking, to make sure the OS arrived both on time and at the level of quality Microsoft wanted.
"I think we are going to have something very high-quality and different this holiday," he told CNET in the interview. "We won't be better on every dimension and we won't be better on a feature point on all of the dimensions we wish we could... I think about this really as a first release."
The OS is now largely done and mostly needs fixes as well as additional driver support. Myerson reiterated, however, that copy-and-paste text not only wouldn't make launch but that it wasn't a top priority for a feature addition given the number of features that either should be added or restored. "There's other things [phone owners] use more frequently," he explained.
Long term, the producer noted it could take as much as five years from the start of Windows Phone 7 to get to an ideal point. Whether or not this is achievable isn't certain, as the OS is reaching phones months after Apple will launch an updated version of iOS that adds some of the features Microsoft has just taken out. Myerson said that much of the initial focus will be on achieving an Apple-like level of integration but still supporting multiple hardware makers.
"We aspire to have the same level of end-user finish as Apple, but getting that level of user finish requires a level of partnership," he stated.