Windows Phone 7 - what's in and what's out

MS says everything's in. Just not in this release

Native exception

That said, it seems there will be an exception. Kindel says that Microsoft is working with Adobe to bring the Flash runtime to Windows Phone 7, though it will not be ready "in this release," even though it is a native coded piece. I asked whether other runtimes such as Java might be supported? Kindel says it is unlikely.

His rationale is that Flash is necessary in order to provide a full web experience (a jibe at Apple’s refusal to allow it on iPhone or iPad), but that Java does not feature strongly in that context.

These remarks confirm Microsoft’s intention to make Windows Phone 7 a tightly controlled platform. This control extends to hardware as well as software. Although hardware vendors will be able to vary features to some extent, the devices will be sufficiently standardised that developers should not have to worry about which Windows 7 phone the user has.

For example, there are just two standard screen resolutions, 800-by-480 pixels for the first devices, and 480-by-320 for cheaper devices planned later. Developers need only check that applications run in both these resolutions.

Which version of the .NET Framework is supported on Windows Phone 7? Kindel says it is a super-set of what Silverlight 3.0 provides, but does not include everything in Silverlight 4.0. He adds that although there are currently two distinct development platforms, Silverlight for general applications or XNA for games, Microsoft intends to bring them closer together in future.

The Xbox 360 is also part of this puzzle. Currently, XNA games run on Xbox, but not Silverlight. However, the intention is to bring Silverlight to Xbox in future. Joining the dots, it seems Microsoft may eventually merge Silverlight and XNA.

Kindel says it will be easy for developers to offer trial versions of their applications. A built-in method called IsTrial will allow code that is conditional on whether the user has purchased the applications. He also addresses the vexed question of application approval, a process which Microsoft says will be "very transparent". Applications will be judged in three areas, he says, these being business factors, technical factors, and content factors. More details are promised shortly. ®

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