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Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 moves toward final release

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 have the facility from hacking, demonstrations and from the growing experience of developers exploring the radically revamped mobile OS.

Coders at XDA-Developers.com hacked the ROM for an un-announced HTC smartphone, called Mondrian, with a Windows Phone 7 software build, though it’s still referred to as “Windows Mobile 7”. The Mondrian may be destined for AT&T because there is likely outdated reference to the wireless carrier’s previous name: Cingular.

Microsoft in April released for developers a new emulator for Windows Phone, based on the latest released build of the underlying operating system.

From the ROM’s contents, it appears that Mondrian could support a big 4.3-inch Wide VGA screen, with the 480-pixel VGA height but a width of 800-854 pixels. HTC already uses WVGA on a range of its smartphones, as the 480×800 HTC HD2.

The ROM also references a faster version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, which is used in a range of high-end smartphones running at 1GHz. The speedier chip runs at 1.3GHz with a 1.5GHz version due out also.

For the first time, the mobile browser will be using Microsoft’s recently and extensively revamped HTML/CSS parser and renderer, Trident. Specifically, it will be using Trident 3.1. According to official blog for the mobile browser, the rendering engine is the same one in Internet Explorer 7, with some JavaScript improvements borrowed from IE8. There have been a couple of CSS improvements thrown in.

Finally, Microsoft’s decision to block multitasking, at least in the initial release of Windows Phone 7, sparked complaints from some developers and pundits.

Software engineer Doug Boling, who specializes in Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile development, has been exploring what programmers can do with the multithreading capabilities of WP7.

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