updated 02:00 pm EDT, Thu April 14, 2011
Microsoft widens WP7 spec to include
Microsoft as part of a Deep Dive (video below) developer session following its MIX11 day 2 keynote confirmed the existence of a widened chassis guideline for Windows Phone 7. The new version finally moves past the original 1GHz Snapdragon and allows for either the 800MHz MSM7x30 chip from a phone like the T-Mobile G2 (HTC Desire Z) or the second-generation 1GHz MSM8x55 chip common across much of HTC's current lineup, like the Inspire 4G or the Incredible S. As hinted during the keynote, the upcoming Mango update to WP7 will bring support for gyroscopes for more precise motion in games or augmented reality apps.
The spec still has many familiar requirements and demands a 480x800 touchscreen, a five-megapixel or better camera, and at least 8GB of internal flash storage.
The move should allow both for faster WP7 hardware that keeps up with mid-range phones from 2011 but also for budget phones when using the 800MHz chip. Chinese phone maker ZTE said it had shelved its WP7 plans with the implication that Microsoft didn't like ZTE's attempts to use slower chips than in the guidelines to save money. The absence of low-priced phones has been a problem for Microsoft, since it can't either undercut the iPhone on price or match Android's low-end.