Microsoft will drop much of the business side of WM in favor of the consumer side. The traditional business offerings like Office / Exchange functionality will of course still be supported, but the focus will be shifted to gaming and multimedia. The Xbox and Zune brands will be represented, the Zune player willl be included and it will be possible to wirelessly exchange data, multimedia, and games with the Xbox 360.
The first batch of phones that will be released will have pretty much the same chip specs, and HTC, Samsung, LG and SE will be the ones to deliver this first batch of phones. In this first batch (September 2010), the OEMs are apparently not allowed to make big changes, they all have to use the same interface.
This means, no custom UI like Sense, no Opera Mobile either. Instead the default WM UI will be used and a new PocketIE based on IE7, but with some functionality from IE8.
The second batch (end of 2010) will be allowed to have small changes, but likely only theme-based and addition of some custom application.
Only at the third batch (early 2011) will the OEMs be allowed to add their own interfaces, like Sense, Panels, TouchWiz and S-Class.
The official announcements of the WM7 phones are not expected to occur more than a few weeks before actual release of the OS, [CF: so we probably won’t see official (unleaked) specs and such before the end of July (based on the September release date)].
As hardware goes they say mostly the same as the chassis 1 specs. 1 Ghz+ CPU, Open GL ES 2.0, 800×480+, 3.5"+, 384mb+ (possibly 512+).
According to those we have seen the WM7 interface, it is nothing revolutionary. It should have standard multi-touch support and supports only capacitive. The interface is said to be a hybrid of iPhone / Android / Zune HD elements.
Apparently those that have used WM7 builds differ in opinion about the software. Some state it is much faster than for example the 3GS, while others mention apps are slow to start and experiencing ‘hickups’.
Apps-wise, old applications will in principle not be compatible with Windows Mobile 7, throwing away many thousands of apps that are currently available. It may be compatibility for old apps will be emulated, but this is not clear yet. How exactly this will work will likely be explained at MIX 2010 in March.
It certainly seems like only .NET apps will be supported [CF: ugh!], however it is not clear if the Compact Framework will be a part of that .NET support.
Read more at Chainfire here.
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