When Windows Phone 7 debuts this fall, the only screen resolution it will support is WVGA. However, at some point, Microsoft will give device makers a second option that is going to include a lower resolution screen.
In the days of Windows Mobile, Microsoft tried to foster innovation by supporting as many different hardware options as possible, including a wide range of screen resolutions. This will change with Windows Phone 7, as phone makers will have to meet a much more stringent set of hardware requirements.
Microsoft has pointed out several times now that, at launch, all devices running this new operating system will have to have a WVGA (800 x 480) capacitive touchscreen.
This will be a temporary situation, though, as the company revealed this week that it will eventually add support for HVGA (320 x 480) to this operating system.
The Chassis Strategy
Microsoft is following a “chassis” strategy for Windows Phone 7, in which it specifies a collection of possible hardware configurations.
Chassis 1 is the only option that will be available this fall, so all smartphones using it will have a WVGA display and 1 GHz processor, Wi-Fi, a 5 megapixel camera, a GPS receiver, and an FM radio.
Details on Chassis 2 are still emerging, but it’s already known that devices using it will include an HVGA touchscreen above a hardware keyboard.
More about Windows Phone 7
Despite its name, Microsoft’s next smartphone operating system has little in common with its predecessors. It will have a completely different user interface and apparently won’t run applications written for the earlier versions.
Its focus has moved to consumers, and its UI emphasizes social networking, pictures, games, etc. It has also been redesigned to be controlled with a fingertip.
Just about the only significant similarity between old and new is that both include Microsoft Office Mobile and support for synchronizing with Microsoft Exchange.