Microsoft promises to fix many Windows Phone 7 limitations “in future releases”

deepzoom2 Tweakers.net have published a lengthy interview with Charlie Kindel, conducted at the Dutch DevDay event recently.

We have distilled a few salient points from there, but reading the whole interview will add a lot more.

Charlie called the cellphone the “new personal computer “, however also mentioned Microsoft still planned to integrate the device with the desktop as part of the “3 screen and a cloud” strategy, which will involve wide synchronization between the 3.

“Much of the activity takes place on the server side. Also applications make extensive use of the server, such as notifications. Most of the features that matter most on the device would require the server. This can also work for saving the battery. ”

On Xbox gaming he noted that developers will be able to create Xbox games with Windows Phone 7 versions that could be sold together.  “Whether they do is up to game developers. We are only providing the possibility.”

He re-iterated that the user interface will not be widely customizable by OEMs or users, saying Microsoft intended to invest heavily in advertising this brand.

He also said Microsoft intended to release updates itself. “We want everyone on the same version of the OS. It is not like now with thirty versions of our operating system in circulation” he said.

Smaller updates will be over the air, and larger updates will be using the Zune software.

“We will do that through the Zune desktop software or over the air , “said Kindel. “Whichever way we use depends on the size of the update.” In practice it will mean that major updates will be installed via the desktop, while the smaller updates are sent directly to your phone.

He noted Windows Phone 7  Release will not be ‘feature complete’: many features will be added later. This is a conscious choice, Kindel said. “What we do, we do extremely well. This is a change from earlier Windows Mobile versions, where we strove for as much possible functionality. Now, some things are missing at launch but the important thing for us is user experience. Everything must work equally well for the unit to work properly. Then we will look at how we can extend that functionality. ”

Surprisingly one of the features that will not be available at launch is the ability to extend the hubs.

“In time you can, but for now we focus on other issues,” said Kindel.

Despite this (or possibly because of it) he noted that Microsoft is still on track for a release late this year. “When I see where we are today in terms of speed and stability of the OS, I am sure that we get it.”

He noted many manufacturers were working on Windows Phone 7 devices, including HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Asus.

On applications he again reitterated that these will only be available via Marketplace, but that in future releases facilities will be made available for companies to distribute vertical applications.

“We have in planning for future releases, we are initially concentrating on other matters.”

Regarding the managed code sandbox, he noted that over time this will become less and less strict, and that access to native code will just be in very special cases, like with Adobe Flash.

He also noted that multi-tasking is reserved for native app, but that undesirable effects such as losing GPS navigation on a phone call will be addressed in future releases.

“For example if you have an application in the background a GPS position to other applications, can pass, it is required that the application can run in the background. For such scenarios, we will build multi-tasking again.”

He did not however say when this would be.

He also mentioned nice feature not demonstrated earlier. If when in another application the volume button is pressed, a Zune widget will appear on screen with a Play / Pause button and buttons to move to the previous or next track.

He also revealed while the basic development tools was free there was a more advanced version which was for charge.

One interesting feature of the OS which will help sell applications is carrier billing. Charlie noted this was advantage over the iPhone and even Android, which required the use of credit cards, which in some countries such as the Netherlands, were not very prevalent.

He conceded that Microsoft appeared to be copying Apple in many ways.

“That’s right, in many cases we are following in Apple’s line. We found the user experience provided by Windows Phone 7 required sharp choices. It may be true that some of these choices match those of Apple. At the end of the day it is for us both about the user experience of smartphones.

He however was still confident what Windows Phone 7 will quickly gain market share.

“In the past it often happened that we were the underdog in a given market and know how to become leaders.” He noted “We have a lot of positive feedback from manufacturers, providers and developers. We hope Windows 7 Phone a successful new path.”

He would not comment on Microsoft’s response if this turned out not to be the case.

“We believe the mobile market is very important. I can not comment on these questions. Therefore it is too early.” Microsoft expects very much of its new mobile OS, says Kindel.

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