In an interview with CNET , Microsoft’s Andy Lees, head of Windows Mobile, confessed to designing Windows Mobile for 200 Mhz processors and QVGA screens.
“We aimed to go for a lower common denominator,” Lees said.
He promised this was set to change however. In a comment that could only be hinting at support for new processors like Nvidia’s Tegra, he said “The power of the kinds of phones that come out next year will be incredible, well beyond even today’s devices. Phones next year will have dual-core processors, super-fast data connections, and graphics power rivaling that of the original Xbox.
“That’s a phenomenal thing on a phone. The phones of the future will also have location information beyond just GPS sensors. It will know where it is pointing, it will know which angle it is being held at.”
Lees promised that Microsoft would start working more closely with hardware makers. He pointed to deals late last year with LG and Samsung.
“You are going to see a bunch of announcements at Mobile World Congress but also it is going to be the beginning of a 12-, 18-month period where you are going to see a whole bunch of different stuff,” Lees said.
But Lees said that Microsoft embarked on a new strategy some time ago that will come to fruition over the next 18 months. The first steps in that strategy, he said, will be announced at the Mobile World Congress conference that takes place in Barcelona in the middle of next month.
Web browsing has also been a traditional weak spot, but Lees also promised their new offering would surpass those interfaces of other leading browsers like Safari by the end of the year.
Part of Microsoft’s new strategy, Lees said, is not relying on operating system upgrades to improve its products. The new approach, while still making money by selling a mobile operating system, places considerable focus on services that help connect the phone to the PC and Web as well as devices such as the Xbox.
Lees would not confirm details of a rumored rival to Apple’s App Store, reportedly known as SkyMarket.
“There is some question whether we can more directly connect the developer and the end user,” he said. “We’re looking at that.”
While the wait for these supposed revolutionary updates is still likely to be long, we should start seeing the seeds of these in less than 3 weeks at Mobile World Congress. Whether these stop gap measures will be enough to maintain Windows Mobile market share in the interim remains to be seen, but the recent Q4 success should point towards the game being far from over.
Read the full interview at CNET here.