Monday, October 18, 2010

Microsoft Clarifies MicroSD To Be Available On Some Windows Phone 7 Models


Inclusion helps boost new platform past Apple in hardware

At its soft launch of Windows Phone 7 Microsoft unveiled what seems like a friendly, intuitive interface, and a solid hardware lineup of 9 smart phones from four different OEMs. However, the company has drawn criticism for its apparent lack of third-party multitasking support, and its lack of copy, cut, and paste.

Apple initially lacked both of these features, but has since caught up with Google and implemented them.

Another criticism leveled against Windows Phone 7 stems from Microsoft's statements that it would likely not support memory expansion via microSD slots. At the soft launch, there was no mention of microSD and the phones had decent internal capacities (8 GB to 16 GB).

It turns out Microsoft has a little bit of a surprise. According to Paul Thurrott ofWindows Phone Secrets and the Super Site for Windows, his contacts have informed him that the phones will include microSD expansion slots.

Microsoft's hardware spec requirements prohibit external expansion slots, so the slots must be placed under the back cover, next to the removable battery (similar to the format in the HTC EVO 4G). The inserted microSD card will join the internal memory for a single memory pool. MicroSD cards come in anywhere from a couple gigabytes, up to 32 GB, currently. That means that some of the currently announced Windows Phone 7 models could have up to a whopping 48 GB of storage space (32 GB from the microSD card, and 16 GB from the built-in flash).

However, there is a major qualification. You can not hot-swap microSD cards. In other words, you can not change your cards while the phone is running. You must hard-power off the handset, then switch, and then finally turn it back on, in order for a new card to be recognized.

Apparently this is due to how Microsoft is managing memory in the new operating system.

Among the Windows Phone 7 models that supports microSD expansion is the Samsung Focus.

Microsoft's decision to include microSD should give it an edge versus Apple, which does not allow its users to have expandable memory. However, its inability to implement free-floating, freely-swappable memory (yet) will leave Android with a bit of an edge in this department.


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