WP7 Mondrian ROM Findings

Connected.Large I’ve been digging in the HTC Mondrian ROM that was posted not too long ago on XDA-Developers, and have a few findings so far. What is below is a mixture of speculation, things from the ROM, and things I’ve been told may be in the OS.

Each application has a few manifest XMLs, these describe what the application is, what permissions it has, and things like the Start Menu icon and text to display in the Start Menu.

One of the more interesting permissions I found was


This implies that there could be full file system to developers. However, that might only be to OEMs and Microsoft. This was from the Internet Explorer package, that uses the file system to cache pages etc.

In a manifest file for Office, I found


so although WP7 is a great example of Silverlight and XNA, Microsoft will also be using native code for some UI based things. There also appears to be a zip viewer built in to the Office suite (much like it is with WM6.X) implying some level of access to files for the user, unless it’s just to open email attachments. The OEM also appears to have access to native code for applications (not just drivers etc) though I’m not sure how much will be there in production devices.

The Microsoft/OEM model seems to be fairly similar to the way WM6.X work, the OEM builds the hardware, and an OS image using Microsofts tools and code, along with drivers from the chipset manufacturers. There are a few subtle differences though, Microsoft are controlling the ImageUpdate mechanism much more tightly (WM6.X features a very powerful update system that can be done OTA, and preserves user data, which has sadly not been implemented on any production device I know of). This enables Microsoft to push out OS updates themselves, rather than waiting for HTC to prepare one. HTC also get a lot less customisation (this may be due to the Mondrian being nowhere near a production device though). The drivers are still provided by the OEM/hardware manufacturer (for example, LG would use Qualcomm’s driver code for Snapdragon, rather than building their own drivers themselves).

From packages like QC_8x50_OS, it seems like HTCs customisations are being separated from the hardware drivers, possibly to make it possible for Qualcomm to push an update without going via HTC or MS?

Lots of dlls have the prefix “k.” not sure what it means, but could be significant.

As a final point, the Microsoft MyPhone packages appears to be making an appearance, with Skybox as a package included. That means there will be pretty good syncing of data to the cloud out of the box, without the need for an Exchange account.

There are a few images from the ROM with Microsoft renderings of WP7 devices, and a set of ringtones/sounds can be found here.

I’ll write about anything I find as and when I find it.