Microsoft updates Windows Phone chassis requirements

It looks like Microsoft quietly relaxed their Windows Phone hardware requirements late last month, as both Twitter source @MS_nerd and the official MSDN page indicate. Manufacturers no longer need to include any camera on their device at all, as these parts are now listed in the “Optional Hardware” section along with the gyroscope and magnetometer (compass) sensors.

Cameras are your standard features on smartphones these days, but sometimes to cut costs you need to remove “unnecessary” features like the camera. Maybe Nokia plans on targeting super-low-end and ultra-cheap markets with camera-less Windows Phones? There is also the possibility, as @MS_nerd points out, that having no camera on a Windows Phone might meet special government/enterprise security needs.

As it still stands, Windows Phone requires a standard set of buttons, WVGA (800 x 480) display, cell and Wi-Fi connectivity along with at least 256 MB of RAM and at least 8 GB of storage. Rumor has it that the upcoming Windows Phone chassis revisions with the “Tango” and “Apollo” updates will bring extra features such as 480 x 320 and 1280 x 720 displays, LTE 4G connectivity and dual-core processors.

Somehow it seems unlikely that Windows Phones without a camera would sell… at all… but at least Microsoft are giving manufacturers the option to save money and remove them.

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Bit off topic (sorry) I know...

I am pretty disappointed to hear that the Nokia Lumia 800s are not available in Cyan on contract in UK from 16/11/2011...might be a while before this happens.

To be fair - this has been in the documentation since the Mango dev tools were made available in May - when they also dropped the HWVGA screen resolution. Thought it was common knowledge by now

It's certainly going back a few years, but on a trip to a UK Court of Law (College trip - honest!) anyone with a camera phone HAD to hand them in at reception.

Definitely an advantage for anyone who's place of work has such requirements, as long as some manufacturers do actually produce a phone sans-camera.

no longer need to include any camera on their device at all

What a smart move. You have a reduced market and with this even more.
And I was thinking they were talking about that the phone would be indestructible...

ThePitt said,

What a smart move. You have a reduced market and with this even more.
And I was thinking they were talking about that the phone would be indestructible...

Wait so WP7 can enter "feature phone" territory now and it will reduce market share? The spec does not say you cannot include a camera, it says it is not required, nothing more.

ThePitt said,

What a smart move. You have a reduced market and with this even more.
And I was thinking they were talking about that the phone would be indestructible...

You truly haven't got a clue have you? This INCREASES their market (the market that doesn't want or will not buy a cameraphone - which isn't to be ignored). It doesn't state that WP7 MUST NOT have a camera. Can you not read?

ACTIONpack said,
Thanks Microsoft for making Windows Phone a bad product now!


You should rethink this and also read what is posted up above, there are markets/areas where a camera on a phone isn't needed or wanted and it has little to do with the OS itself.

ACTIONpack said,
Thanks Microsoft for making Windows Phone a bad product now!
I take it you've not had any experience with Windows Mobile devices that aren't solely used as a phone. Example, Motorola made the MC70 which is a few years old. Runs 5.5, has a physical keyboard, touch screen, GPRS and a barcode scanner built into the chassis. I stll need to use these at work for scanning in deliveries. I would like something that wasn't built before iPhones were around. What's my options.... Not a lot, except for the odd XDA running WM6.5 so a nice potential WP7 device that doesn't take forever to work because the hardware is obsolete and the devkit is poop would be nice. Rant over... PS, think outside the box!

SONiKz said,
I take it you've not had any experience with Windows Mobile devices that aren't solely used as a phone. Example, Motorola made the MC70 which is a few years old. Runs 5.5, has a physical keyboard, touch screen, GPRS and a barcode scanner built into the chassis. I stll need to use these at work for scanning in deliveries. I would like something that wasn't built before iPhones were around. What's my options.... Not a lot, except for the odd XDA running WM6.5 so a nice potential WP7 device that doesn't take forever to work because the hardware is obsolete and the devkit is poop would be nice. Rant over... PS, think outside the box!

I own a HTC HD7. Microsoft is lowering the minimum standard. That's a joke! No requirement for a camera on phones? All phones today comes with a camera even the free phones comes with a camera. I just don't understand why Microsoft have no clue.

ACTIONpack said,

I own a HTC HD7. Microsoft is lowering the minimum standard. That's a joke! No requirement for a camera on phones? All phones today comes with a camera even the free phones comes with a camera. I just don't understand why Microsoft have no clue.

you do realize that can still put a camera on them right? Its just an option now. Its not like all the manufacters are now going drop cameras just because they can, pretty much every phone is still going to have them, they would be dumb to not have one because the phone wouldnt sell. Its just an option now, and I doubt its going to be used very much. I dont know why you think it will be.

ACTIONpack said,

I own a HTC HD7. Microsoft is lowering the minimum standard. That's a joke! No requirement for a camera on phones? All phones today comes with a camera even the free phones comes with a camera. I just don't understand why Microsoft have no clue.

Why would it matter to you if there are phone models available that do not have a camera? If you don't want a phone without a camera, the just do not buy a phone without a camera. It's that simple. No need to panic.

ACTIONpack said,

I own a HTC HD7. Microsoft is lowering the minimum standard. That's a joke! No requirement for a camera on phones? All phones today comes with a camera even the free phones comes with a camera. I just don't understand why Microsoft have no clue.


Microsoft's main business is still in the corporate world. Guess what the corporate world hates behind closed doors where they keep top secret information? Cameras. Phones, for years, have had versions without cameras. This is Microsoft's way of giving manufacturers the option to make phones that are allow in guarded environments.

SONiKz said,
I take it you've not had any experience with Windows Mobile devices that aren't solely used as a phone. Example, Motorola made the MC70 which is a few years old. Runs 5.5, has a physical keyboard, touch screen, GPRS and a barcode scanner built into the chassis. I stll need to use these at work for scanning in deliveries. I would like something that wasn't built before iPhones were around. What's my options.... Not a lot, except for the odd XDA running WM6.5 so a nice potential WP7 device that doesn't take forever to work because the hardware is obsolete and the devkit is poop would be nice. Rant over... PS, think outside the box!
Windows Phone 7 won't be running on those devices. Microsoft's specifically stated it's for phones, not an all-encompassing operating system.

I could see devices running Android filling in this spot of the market, though.

Sans camera options are only for business and government clients. Consumers love cameras, but high security businesses and government rules require that they be omitted from devices.

Frazell Thomas said,
Sans camera options are only for business and government clients. Consumers love cameras, but high security businesses and government rules require that they be omitted from devices.

Don't all government officials use iPhones now?

KingCrimson said,

Don't all government officials use iPhones now?

You won't see an iPhone anywhere in high security government environments. Well maybe you would in countries that don't take security seriously.

Frazell Thomas said,

You won't see an iPhone anywhere in high security government environments. Well maybe you would in countries that don't take security seriously.

Is it your opinion or fact?

trollonknoll said,

Is it your opinion or fact?

Wouldn't it make sense to not allow camera phones in high security areas with top secret information?

It's a policy the US military has had in place for years. I had to leave mine in the truck when I would go into the air traffic control tower.

make sense but just wanted to find out if he is just stating his opinion or basing it on a fact..

Edited by trollonknoll, Nov 6 2011, 4:39am :

Frazell Thomas said,
Sans camera options are only for business and government clients. Consumers love cameras, but high security businesses and government rules require that they be omitted from devices.

Actually, not all consumers care about cameras. I'd happily have a cheaper device without a camera. I've had cameras in my phone for years and still have pretty much no use for it at all.

oh yes, because you are one of the highest security businesses man and you work for the government. Give me a break. Take the phone and destroy the camera, simple as that.
And whats next?. They wont include the camera because of the paedophiles and protect the childrens.

What a stupid response. Top level security areas do not allow unauthorised filming or photography - this is a known fact. A camera in such areas would be wholly prohibitted. This has nothing to do with kids and paedophiles.