Dell preps Windows Phone 7 portrait slider
No 'low-priced' Win Mo, says Microsoft
Dell is building all sorts of new-age handhelds - including a portrait slider phone running Windows Phone 7 and branded with Microsoft's Windows logo - according to a new report.
Engadget reports that the Dell slider phone - called Lightning - will offer multi-touch, a QWERTY keypad, 5Mp auto-focus camera, 1GB Flash memory, 8GB Micro SD, Microsoft's Internet-Explorer browser, and a 4.1in display.
Engadget also says that Dell is working on a tablet called Looking Glass that runs Google's Android, version 2.1, on a Tegra 2 processor. Looking Glass will pack a WebKit-based browser and run Adobe's Flash - famously barred form the iPad - while offering a 7in display, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, 4GB NAND storage, Bluetooth, and a 1.3Mp camera. The device is apparently due in November.
And that's not all. Dell will offer an Android-based phone fashioned from a "slice of 'curved glass,' topping out at 11mm thick" and a phone called Smoke with a QWERTY keypad that runs Android Froyo.
All this Dell news comes as arch-rival HP prepares its own iPad challenger, the Slate. The Slate will run Windows 7, utilizing the operating system's multi-touch APIs so that you can drag, poke, and squeeze your way through the interface. It will undercut the iPad on price at the low end, according to information obtained by Gizmodo.
The leak from Dell - which has long since lost its crown as the world's largest PC maker to HP - could be an attempt to show that Dell is still in the game when it comes to innovating on emerging technologies in the consumer market.
Meanwhile, Microsoft - whose planned Windows Phone 7 will run Dell's Lightning - has denied it plans to offer a "low-priced" version of the mobile operating system for emerging markets.
According to India's Economic Times, Sudeep Bharati - director of developer tools for Microsoft India's Visual Studio Team - says the low-cost version of the phone will have a different chassis than the edition planned for launch by Microsoft by the end of this year.
"The new version may also have a smaller screen and will thus be priced lower to suit developing markets like India. We are in talks with OEMs to gain their feedback on a new chassis... The existing chassis of Windows Phone 7, carries three buttons."
A Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg: "Microsoft is working with OEM and MO partners to provide customers and developers with a consistent hardware experience across all devices. As part of this, there is a single Windows Phone 7 hardware specification that includes guidelines around screen options, storage, camera functionality, and processing."
Meanwhile, the company refused to confirm or deny details of its Windows Phone 7 architecture apparently obtained by the Boy Genius Report, here. ®
The limitation MS is imposing is one of minimum functionality. There is no wall preventing manufacturers beating the minimum, is there?
I've not heard of hardware referred to as a "walled garden" before. It normally means hardware owners are restricted in the services to which they connect, or the software they can install. Telling a user they can't have flash or use skype-like services on wi-fi is very different to telling them they can't install a camera in their phone!
4GB DDR2 SDRAM? As storage? Why? Why not just use 1GB of RAM as memory and up the storage NAND to 8GB?
And are we back in the late 90s, where PDAs lose their storage content when their battery goes flat?
(Yes, I had one that does that. An HP iPaq H1940).
Will believe it when I see it
No, I don't think it's vaporware, but sometimes Dell just muffs the delivery, and the results are pretty messy.
I still remember the horror that was the Dell DJ (my ex-wife had one). Actually using that thing was a bit of a screamer, and getting songs onto it made iTunes look perfectly intuitive by comparison. It got donated to a younger in-law's kid as a present, I think.
The tablet may provide something better, but I'm not really a tablet kind of guy anyway - will leave that to the fanboys (of either camp) to argue over. *shrug*.
(and to be fair, they did sell big-screen LCD televisions quite well back in the day...)
I would prefer my tech journo...
...to know that DDR2 isn't the storage. NAND is.
"As part of this, there is a single Windows Phone 7 hardware specification that includes guidelines around screen options, storage, camera functionality, and processing."
In other words, "We don't care what color you paint it, as long as it's beige." So there will be different walls around the garden, but it'll still be a walled garden.