MIXing about with Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 HandsetI’m heading off to MIX10 in a little over a week. I won’t lie to you: I’m excited. It’s my first trip to Ameristan, and I’m hoping to get some hands-on time with some Windows Phone 7 gear.

Windows Phone 7 is a slow burning fuse compared to the iPhone’s hand grenade. It’s beginning to intrigue me, and if the rumours I’ve been hearing are true, the development platform and process will be excellent.

I’m sure you know my position on consumer electronics, but I’ll reiterate for clarity: large volumes of bovine faeces, with the occasional (albeit grubby) gem. If you dig around for the gems, you’ll notice a common theme: single-mindedness. A willingness to keep pushing back. Or as The Stephen says, an ability to say “not good enough”. So it pleases me to see Microsoft pushing back on so much that was wrong with previous WinMo iterations. I hope the team are taking the protests around non-backward-compatibility as a compliment.

I’m certainly diving in at the deep end of the USA, flying direct to Las Vegas via Los Angeles. In New Zealand, one can’t avoid being force-fed a diet of American entertainment and filtered news. I’m expecting a certain level of surrealism, which I plan to embrace. I’m not interested in gambling, but I’ll place a few bets. I am planning to visit the Hoover Dam (with appropriate backing music), and the Grand Canyon.

So dear reader, two questions, if you could be so kind:

  1. What do you want me to find out about Windows Phone 7? What do you want to see?
  2. What do I need to do in Vegas to enhance the surrealism?


  1. I wonder what’s changed from a development pov in Win Mob 7? I haven’t developed Win Mob for several years, but it was always a pretty awful exercise – particularly when it came to the UI. Are app developers going to be able to salvage everything the currently have and just re-skin their app UI for Win Mob 7? Or has the core functionality changed underneath? Is it still based on a sort of retarded half cousin to the Win32 API?

    The Grand Canyon is an impressive piece of nature that’s for sure. You won’t regret visiting it.

  2. 1) How easy/intuative is that “hub” system to use in practice. Does a lack of multi tasking REALLY effect an otherwise great looking system

    2) Just ask yourself “What would Hunter do?”

  3. @Stu
    Again, all rumours and whispers, but I’m led to believe that it’s a complete re-boot of the platform. I won’t be surprised if the UI dev is based around WPF and/or Silverlight.

    In the same way that the iPhone has UIKit for “basic” apps, and OpenGLES for 3D apps, I’m wondering if WP7 will have WPF + some 3D framework.

    I’m sure there’s some historical kernel stuff in there, but they’re definitely dropping support for all legacy WinMo apps. Ballsy call, but it’s the right one in my opinion.

  4. WinCE 6.x is an entirely different beast to 5.x. Anyone who thinks otherwise obviously doesn’t know or understand WinCE and Remember WinCE is not Windows Mobile.

    Expression Blend / Sketch with Silverlight for UI development, XNA for 3D / games or dedicated apps.

    Quite a number of previous “full screen” apps like TomTom, Xkrakt, etc run perfectly fine.

    Given there are ~50K WinMo apps… it is a ballsy move but I also agree with Ben, its the correct move.

  5. Oh I forgot to say, full pre-emptive multi-tasking IS in Windows Phone 7 (Yes I’m intentionally dropping the Series bit because its just silly).

  6. WINCE – an inspired acronym that fully desribed the user experience with a minimum of redundant text! 🙂

    Vegas Eh? Hmmm Where you staying?

    Take a walk down the boulevard from Ceasers to the Luxor, passing Bellagio, Alibaba, Paris, MGM Grand Excaliber etc….

    That’s good for several hours of immersion in the most over the top exhibition of shameless comsumption and excess anywhere on the planet.

    Take a Gondola ride INSIDE the Bellagio Hotel Casino and grab a gelato.

    Have a bite at Planet Hollywood in the Forum arcade under Ceasers Palace.

    Take the Rooftop rollercoaster at NewYork New York.

    It’s a shame they’ve dismantled the bridge of the TNG Enterprise at MGM, you used to be able to sit in Picard’s chair, but still worth a look.

    Take in one of the shows that run continuous seasons there, like Cirque de Soleil

    Get out into the desrt if you can…

  7. Check out who’s playing Vegas … what a smorgasbord of smorg! Looks like you’ll miss the New Kids on the Block, so it’s a choice between Cher and Barry Manilow. You know you can’t smile without him.

    PS I had mis-remembered the hydroslide-through-the-shark-tank as being in Las Vegas, but alas it’s in the Bahamas (and if I can just squeeze “pyjamas” into this sentence, I’ll have five words ending in -as, which is indeed a bunch of -as). Things took a turn for the meta there last year when a shark tragically jumped itself!

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