Microsoft Confirms ”Chassis” Strategy for Windows Mobile 7

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A Microsoft executive has confirmed a rumor: it’s creating a series of reference designs for Windows Mobile devices. These chassis will give device makers templates to follow when creating new smartphones.

Windows MobileJames McCarthy, Microsoft’s business marketing manager, told IT Pro:

“In the future, we are looking to deepen our development work with a handful of key OEMs at the hardware design phase, with much more carefully defined hardware specifications to match software requirements, which in turn will deliver even more powerful mobile experiences for our customers.

“This has led to this chassis’ concept that is familiar to the work Microsoft does with hardware partners in the PC industry to create high quality products.”

Fewer Options, Less Fragmentation
Because Microsoft will be giving reference designs to manufacturers, the chassis system is expected to lead to less differentiation in Windows Mobile models.

However, there will be benefits from this system. Because Microsoft is supposedly going to reduce the hardware options it gives device makers, the operating system can be simpler. This could lead to quicker OS updates.

In addition, the chassis system should simplify the process of developing third-party software. For example, the current range of screen resolutions supported by Windows Mobile leads to considerable work for developers. A simplified set of requirements is expected to lead to more software being available.

Details for Chassis 1
Late this spring, a set of specifications for what’s being called Chassis 1 leaked out. This is a list of requirements for a high-end Windows Mobile-based phone:

  • Nvidia’s 800 MHz Tegra chip or a similar one from TI or Qualcomm
  • A 3.5-inch or bigger multi-touch display at either WVGA (800 by 480 pixels) or FWVGA (854 by 480 pixels)
  • At least 256 MB of RAM and 1 GB of internal storage
  • Wi-Fi b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 required
  • GPS, compass, and accelerometer
  • 3 MPx or greater camera
  • micro-USB port and 3.5 mm headset jack

Optional features include a microSD card slot, hardware keyboard, D-pad, and haptic feedback.

Details on the other chassis designs are not known at this time.

Microsoft is expected to put the chassis system in place with Windows Mobile 7, which will supposedly debut Q4 of 2010.

Source: IT Pro

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