Windows Mobile 7 info, 1,000 engineers working on project

Microsoft has confirmed that the current team of 1,000 developers, working on Windows Mobile 7, are planning to feature social networks as a key element of Windows Mobile 7.

In a company job posting, spotted by Mobile Tech World, officials are looking for a senior program manager in the Windows Mobile 7 Communications Group:

The Windows Mobile 7 Communications group is building experiences on the phone that present your content - friends, pictures, messages, events - to you in immersive and engaging ways. Our vision is to bring social networks to life by integrating them into the core experience of the phone. For example imagine seeing all the newsfeeds from all the networks you care about in a single hub on the phone. Or imagine the phone instantly telling you what your friend is doing and where he is when you get a call from him.

Paul Spain, who attended Tech-Ed in New Zealand last week, confirmed that Microsoft announced there were currently 1,000 engineers working on Windows Mobile 7. Over at the Microsoft jobs center, there are currently 69 jobs posted concerning Windows Mobile. Clearly Microsoft is ramping up its efforts in the mobile space to provide some healthy competition for devices such as Apple's iPhone and Palm's Pre.

Earlier this month, UX "evangelist" Stephen Chapman unearthed some confirmed features of Windows Mobile 7. In a blog posting, Chapman posted various features ranging from a Windows Live ID feature to MEMS sensor capabilities in Windows Mobile 7, including accelerometer and compass.

According to insiders close to the Windows Mobile 7 project, Microsoft had originally planned to unveil Windows Mobile 7 at the Professional Developers Conference, Los Angeles, in November this year. It's not yet clear if this has been pushed back as the project has run into several delays during its time. Stay tuned for further information as Neowin will be attending PDC 2009.

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The Hero has just a little bit more maturing to do until it can truely take the crown. I'll be waiting for the Hero 2 (if that's what it'll be called) until I purchase it. Until then, iPhones UI is just too smooth despite some of the drawbacks (namely multi-tasking and seamless communication integration).

win mobile better be good if they want a shot at iphone/android. android will probably surpass the iphone soon, its open source, has multitasking, multitouch, amazing UI(htc hero). if apple doesn't redesign the iphone UI and add multitasking next year, android will dominate for sure.

i'll be selling my iphone by the end of the year to get a android device.

Gabe3 said,
win mobile better be good if they want a shot at iphone/android. android will probably surpass the iphone soon, its open source, has multitasking, multitouch, amazing UI(htc hero). if apple doesn't redesign the iphone UI and add multitasking next year, android will dominate for sure.

i'll be selling my iphone by the end of the year to get a android device.


technically the UI isn't google's. HTC designed it and it's loosely based of the touchflo from HTC winmo devices.

i think its a little too late for winmo, they lost it long ago. android will dominate the market pretty soon, i am a current winmo user and im jumping to android come november as im sure alot of others are jumping ship too. winmo 6.5 is the most ugliest excuse for a mobile os ive ever seen, the ui is horrid and titanium is useless.

You've used WinMo 6.5, right? And it's never too late. If Zune is an indicator of how fast a good Microsoft team can transform a product within a period of 4 years, and if the rumors are true that Zune and WinMo are getting some heavier integration in the 7.0 release, then I have very little doubt into how awesome WinMo 7.0 will be.

I can see why you want to move onto another mobile OS, but I think 6.5 is fine to use.

The planned features for Win7 Mobile are nearly identical to the Android/MotoBlur feature list that will be available next month on the T-Mobile Motorola Cliq, and are already available on the HTC Hero with Android/HTC Sense. Looks like Microsoft is too little/too late on this. By the time they get Win7 Mobile out, everyone else will have moved on much further.

I think WinMo 7 will be something special, MS arent silly, they know they dropped the ball on the Winmo platform. Sounds like theyve thrown the resources behind it to give this a good crack. As long as they cater Winmo7 to the technologies that are out there as well as target a consumer base I think well be in for some Win. TBH just combing a more finger friendly UI like they have in the RTM build of 6.5 with some Zune interface features would be a good start.

It'll be good for them to focus on social networking and multimedia balanced with business functions and stuff all in one well balanced platform

Can some one tell me if Windows Mobile 6.5 is released and available for download? Windows Mobile has taken way too long with their release of mobile software.

JSYOUNG571 said,
Can some one tell me if Windows Mobile 6.5 is released and available for download? Windows Mobile has taken way too long with their release of mobile software.


www.xda-developers.com

been on there for ages

/- Razorfold said,
www.xda-developers.com

been on there for ages

..in unfinished form yes. I'm waiting for a final build for my TD2 since they've added some more features in the past couple of months that makes it a bit friendlier.

dangel said,

..in unfinished form yes. I'm waiting for a final build for my TD2 since they've added some more features in the past couple of months that makes it a bit friendlier.

Windows Mobile doesn't seem to have a "final" build lately. It is always changing. They "finished" 6.5 but have instantly gone on to 6.5.1 where the UI is being changed. The one I currently have on my phone (6.5) I believe was "unfinished" but is 100% stable, more so than any 6.1 ROM I used before. I have gone nearly 6 days without even dropping my data session! More without rebooting! I could never do this on 6.1

Wow! I really can't wait to see something on Windows Mobile 7... I would love to see what they have planned for the next release...

MS is shooting themselves in the foot by making two separate OS platforms for a similar market. They should combine ZuneHD and Windows Mobile into one awesome product.

They should combine all their OS, no point have Windows 7, Winmo 7, Zune. Just because one is a desktop OS, and one is for mobiles is no reason to keep them separate. (At least this is what Steve said about google, so who knows what he plans).

cakesy said,
They should combine all their OS, no point have Windows 7, Winmo 7, Zune. Just because one is a desktop OS, and one is for mobiles is no reason to keep them separate. (At least this is what Steve said about google, so who knows what he plans).


the crack you smoke seems to get more and more potent everyday...what do you do..age it in your basement where you live?

winmo is derived from windows...just like the iphone os is based of mac os x.

You cannot combine window 7 and windows mobile 7...common sense should tell you why

/- Razorfold said,
the crack you smoke seems to get more and more potent everyday...what do you do..age it in your basement where you live?

winmo is derived from windows...just like the iphone os is based of mac os x.

You cannot combine window 7 and windows mobile 7...common sense should tell you why


Yes, I realize this, I guess I was too subtle for you. i was making fun of a comment that Steve made toward Google, who have to OS, android and the upcoming PC OS. I will try to make myself more obvious in the future. You know you can read the stuff in between the brackets.

cakesy said,

Yes, I realize this, I guess I was too subtle for you. i was making fun of a comment that Steve made toward Google, who have to OS, android and the upcoming PC OS. I will try to make myself more obvious in the future. You know you can read the stuff in between the brackets.


"Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google."

Don't see anything different in that and windows.

Windows mobile was designed to work on phones, and windows was designed for laptops and windows. And they both have areas which overlap.

mocax said,
wow... it's gonna be a nightmare coordinating 1000 developers....

Thats exactly what I was thinking. I mean...this is an OS for a mobile phone, not a friggen fighter jet.

joemailey said,

Glad I'm not the only one thinking 1,000 devs is way way way too much for Mobile OS.


I think they tend to put too many people on the majority of projects anyway. Too many cooks in the kitchen as it were.

mocax said,
wow... it's gonna be a nightmare coordinating 1000 developers....

I was thinking the same thing. I'm failing to see what they could possibly use 1000 developers for on a new version of Windows Mobile... Sounds like they have some really big plans for Windows Mobile 7... I can't wait to see what they've got planned... When do we get to see something?

M_Lyons10 said,
I was thinking the same thing. I'm failing to see what they could possibly use 1000 developers for on a new version of Windows Mobile... Sounds like they have some really big plans for Windows Mobile 7... I can't wait to see what they've got planned... When do we get to see something?

Well, they wouldn't have 1000 working on the OS, they could have most of them working on applications, design, etc...

That's not really the case, Vista had 2000+ and I think the numbers were probably similar for Windows 7. The numbers don't represent individual developers but artists, interface/HCI designers, SDETs in addition to SDEs. There is a lot to go in to it and the fact it is a mobile OS doesn't change a whole lot (conceptually).

It still has a kernel and all your traditional operating system components with a few layers of multi-touch and the battery concerns etc.

They can have a good amount of people working on various parts of the OS. The core (Windows CE) is already there, so they have one big team making the rest of the core functions and then many small teams, each working on individual applications. They can get the OS done very fast if they do it right.

gotta agree with WMPowerUser:

The above is certainly interesting, but unfortunately is a case of Windows Mobile catching up to what's going on on the Pre and recently Motorola's Android phones. Worryingly the job posting talks about being "just beginning", which certainly puts paid to any suggestion the OS is still coming in February next year.

At this stage Windows Mobile 7 looks a lot like Vista – grandly ambitious but very late, and likely to be very bloated.

Though I am liking the direction 6.5.1 is going, I honestly don't think WM7 will have the time to be developed to compete. It's going to take at least another year to be finished and by that time, who knows what everyone else will have. MS is toooooooo late to the game on this one.

Yes, agree. Microsoft have loads of money, I can't see them leaving this segment just yet though. Android has lots of momentum, seems every week a new company is bringing out a phone. Google keep improving the OS constantly (with months between releases, not years).

It seems they got the software for Zune right though, lets see what winmo 7 has to offer.

Oh, wow, this is nice. I'll have to hope WinMo 7 devices are out in another year or so.

The location-based services especially sound cool. You can see an implementation of this in Microsoft's 2019 vision series, and that looks great... but it'll probably only work between Windows Mobile phones.

Microsoft have actually released at least one app for the iPhone. Hopefully, if they do bring in this system, they will release an API so that other phone users can use it. I don't see it being very popular if not.

I thought about the old saying, too many cooks spoil the broth. Lets just hope these aren't the same developers from the Longhorn project

cakesy said,
I thought about the old saying, too many cooks spoil the broth. Lets just hope these aren't the same developers from the Longhorn project :)

The longhorn project had a lot very good things come out of it programmatically -- the main issues were in marketing and project management so you should probably move your trolling to a topic you're educated on.

Particular things of note, since you'll probably argue in a completely uninformed way:
Windows Explorer re-written to .NET (and the rest of .NET/WinFX),
Graphics installer (& accompanying imaged based distribution for the enterprise),
TPM support,
Any number of kernel libraries rewritten with 64bit awareness,
UAC (which despite your obvious distaste for it is programmatically a good step forward),

and that pretty much excludes any of the low level kernel changes that were driven by Server 2008, which was also developed under project Longhorn. Despite the consumerist distaste for the result (Vista) Longhorn represented a good period of development for the NT kernel line. It is not uncommon to have 2000+ individual developers working on an operating system... and despite being mobile, WinMo 7 is still an operating system with many of the traditional challenges and some new ones.

I don't think it's a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth here.

omni said,
Windows Explorer re-written to .NET (and the rest of .NET/WinFX),.

I agree with your point overall but this isn't true - even in Windows 7 there's almost no managed code and all of the API's are WIN32 or COM (to use them from .NET they're all wrapped).

dangel said,
I agree with your point overall but this isn't true - even in Windows 7 there's almost no managed code and all of the API's are WIN32 or COM (to use them from .NET they're all wrapped).

I was under the opposite impression but I haven't spent a lot of time with the Windows 7 code pack or Vista for that matter so I'll stand down from this point if that's the case.

I was under the impression much of the original interfaces and libraries have been re-written to use much more .NET through frameworks like WPF and WCF and a whole lot less COM/GDI and Win32 (though they can co-exist). I'm happy to be corrected though.

omni said,
I was under the opposite impression but I haven't spent a lot of time with the Windows 7 code pack or Vista for that matter so I'll stand down from this point if that's the case.

I was under the impression much of the original interfaces and libraries have been re-written to use much more .NET through frameworks like WPF and WCF and a whole lot less COM/GDI and Win32 (though they can co-exist). I'm happy to be corrected though.

Well it makes sense if you think about it - the big push on 7 is speed after all and moving everything into managed code isn't a great idea in that respect for the OS itself. An example - the new superbar's interface is exposed as ITaskbar3 which is a COM interface - to use it from c# MS are pushing the "Windows API Codepack" which wraps this (and other new) interface(s) exposed in Windows 7. Moreover MS are pushing DirectX as the new platform for UI development - it's what the desktop window manager uses, it's what WPF uses, it's what direct2d uses - which is completely unmanaged code (part history and part 'cos it makes sense when you're writing highly performant code that controls hardware). It also makes sense when you see how slow WPF actually is - there are certain things it's just too slow for (displaying 3d models for example) compared to full-fat-directx.

None of this is bad though - and none of it reflects badly on your original assertion; I couldn't agree more that the major architectural upheaval of Vista set the scene for 7 and that for a project as large as the Windows operating system (and it's requirement to cover ALL users on ALL hardware with ALL the software that comes with it) it is ALWAYS large scale development.

dangel said,

Well it makes sense if you think about it - the big push on 7 is speed after all and moving everything into managed code isn't a great idea in that respect for the OS itself. An example - the new superbar's interface is exposed as ITaskbar3 which is a COM interface - to use it from c# MS are pushing the "Windows API Codepack" which wraps this (and other new) interface(s) exposed in Windows 7. Moreover MS are pushing DirectX as the new platform for UI development - it's what the desktop window manager uses, it's what WPF uses, it's what direct2d uses - which is completely unmanaged code (part history and part 'cos it makes sense when you're writing highly performant code that controls hardware). It also makes sense when you see how slow WPF actually is - there are certain things it's just too slow for (displaying 3d models for example) compared to full-fat-directx.

None of this is bad though - and none of it reflects badly on your original assertion; I couldn't agree more that the major architectural upheaval of Vista set the scene for 7 and that for a project as large as the Windows operating system (and it's requirement to cover ALL users on ALL hardware with ALL the software that comes with it) it is ALWAYS large scale development.

Yeah that makes a lot of sense, I haven't had much of a chance to go over the new API documentation for W7 yet that's why I was curious -- thanks for the clarification.

omni said,

Yeah that makes a lot of sense, I haven't had much of a chance to go over the new API documentation for W7 yet that's why I was curious -- thanks for the clarification.

You're most welcome :)

Sounds like they are shooting for a WebOS type experience. I hope they put out something good. Solid, modern mobile OSes from Palm, Google, Microsoft, and Apple will be awesome for the market. I always liked the core functionality and integration of WinMobile but the OS just fell too far behind a year or two ago. I would love to see something integrated with new hardware like the Zune HD and Tegra.

The rumor is Zune will become the main Media center of Microsoft, Meda player, portable device, Windows Mobile with the "Zune media player" Zune Market place on 360. and the Zune portable device is supposed to be the underpinnings of the same OS as the WM phones.

If MS pulls everything together like they can and should do then they can be a large challenger in many markets.

I'm really looking forward to the "immersive" integration of the Zune experience in all MS media functionalities (devices & services); just curious what becomes of WMP. I guess time will tell

ZX2 said,
The rumor is Zune will become the main Media center of Microsoft, Meda player, portable device, Windows Mobile with the "Zune media player" Zune Market place on 360. and the Zune portable device is supposed to be the underpinnings of the same OS as the WM phones.

If MS pulls everything together like they can and should do then they can be a large challenger in many markets.

Good. Microsoft seems to be a company that tries lots of things and keeps what works. It has the dual effect of making things seem fragmented at times while still producing great products.

neodorian said,
Good. Microsoft seems to be a company that tries lots of things and keeps what works. It has the dual effect of making things seem fragmented at times while still producing great products.

Yes, while also producing a lot of crap as well. Microsoft is not focused, they tend to stray into a lot of areas, and since they have loads of cash, they just throw it at anything they think can have a return. Cash has actually been a bad thing for Microsoft IMHO. Apple have loads of cash as well, but seem a lot more focused. They also have good and bad products (apple tv), but they are still in focused.

cakesy said,
Yes, while also producing a lot of crap as well. Microsoft is not focused, they tend to stray into a lot of areas, and since they have loads of cash, they just throw it at anything they think can have a return. Cash has actually been a bad thing for Microsoft IMHO. Apple have loads of cash as well, but seem a lot more focused. They also have good and bad products (apple tv), but they are still in focused.

Exactly. The problem with Apple is that they focus so much on form factor and hitting a certain profitable segment of the market that they don't make many products that appeal to me. Microsoft takes a lot of chances and throws a lot into R&D. Only some of the things developed end up used in a retail product but it leads to some pretty solid software that runs on just about anything and (in my opinion) offers the best of three worlds as far as deskop/notebook software goes. You get the support and development of a commercial OS like OSX but you aren't told what brand of hardware you can run it on a-la Linux.

Spending cash to develop something that doesn't pan out does zero to hurt the consumer but it helps immensely when it leads to useful new technologies.

Imran Hussain said,
I really hope they get Win Mo 7 right for the sake of putting up good competition in the Mobile OS market.

There is good competition in the Mobile OS market already, BB, Google, Palm, Apple, Nokia. It is just the Microsoft isn't competing, and won't be until 7 comes out.

cakesy said,
There is good competition in the Mobile OS market already, BB, Google, Palm, Apple, Nokia. It is just the Microsoft isn't competing, and won't be until 7 comes out.

(snipped)

Microsoft has a decent market share with windows mobile, sure its not the best but it is one of the oldest and with a few tweaks and a custom rom it does a pretty dam good job of competing.

There is good competition but I'd like to see MS make a comeback with a quality foundation with Windows Mobile 7. 6.5 doesn't come close to anything already on the market, specifically WebOS and iPhoneOS which dominate their competitors. Hopefully they'll mix the Zune with it.

While I expect it will axe support for all previous versions. I hope they will end it with 7 and support its predecessor with each new release.

/- Razorfold said,
and with a few tweaks and a custom rom it does a pretty dam good job of competing.

HTC does some really nice work making Windows Mobile just as functional as anything else. And it's had multi-tasking for years, so the Pre's big feature over the iPhone isn't exactly unique.

I like the OS, but it is definitely for business and enterprise users. If you really want tons of games, etc, then just get an iPhone and be done with it. Otherwise I'll take an HTC WinMo device any day over the competition.

The other WinMo manufacturers, I don't want to touch since I think everything is left default.