back to article Windows Phone 7 will not translate to Win Mobile after all

Confusion over a Dutch translation has prompted Microsoft to confirm that its new mobile platform is not backwards compatible, though new documents point towards a .NET and Silverlight future. The original comments appeared on with Dutch-language site Tweakers.net, and while the translation was accurate it was interpreted to …

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  1. Terry H
    FAIL

    Well that's that

    Android it is. That was easy.

    RIP Redmond. Good show following PALM once again.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    all your current apps are incompatible

    .. and that is why there will be 'Windows Phone Classic' for those who can't/won't buy new versions if/when they become available.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Wow!

    I supose it's not much of a surprise, it looks like the UI of 7 is so different from what went before it would be a jarring experience to switch from one to the other, though perhaps not much different to that of switching from say the HTC front end into Pocket Outlook.

    But without being able to use the existing app back catalogue this thing is going to have to stand on it's own merits and I'm not sure whether that's brave or stupid.

    Personally, it'd have to be outright amazing to get me to get another Windows phone and I don't think that's an uncommon opinion.

  4. Gil Grissum
    Gates Horns

    No Winmo for me

    One more reason why I didn't bother to wait and got a Blackberry. I need what I need now, not when Microsoft thinks it's a good idea to give it to me.

  5. jason 7 Silver badge
    Happy

    Nice!

    Funny to see folks always whining that MS just reconstitutes old code over and over and that they should start from scratch and ditch legacy blah blah blah.

    Now they ditch legacy and start from scratch and its "oh noes my old apps wont work, this sucks!!"

    Make up your minds folks.

    1. John Tserkezis
      Stop

      Not so nice?

      "Now they ditch legacy and start from scratch and its oh noes my old apps wont work, this sucks!! Make up your minds folks"

      To use .NET and Silverlight?

      More bloatware and re-invented wheels "because we're not making anough money out of the old wheel".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      The problem is

      that they didn't do it much sooner...

      Android now has quite a march on Windows 7 with it's expanding app catalog

      As Windows 7 won't run any of the current apps, anyone who has been on the WinMo track now has the choice of:

      - wait for Window Phone 7 to be released later this year and then wait for developers to update their apps, with a very good chance that some of the most popular apps will never be updated (because many of their developers have since defected to the android or iphone platforms).

      -OR-

      - switch to Android which already has lots of developer support and a rapidly expanding app catalog

      I've been running WinMo for a few years now, but I personally won't be sticking around for WinMo 7... it's too little too late

    3. Kanhef

      Not mutually exclusive

      It's possible to switch hardware or software platforms without breaking backwards-compatibility immediately. Apple has done so several times. During the 68K/PPC and PPC/x86 transitions, 'fat' and 'universal' apps were made that contained code to run natively on either architecture. In the latter case, the Rosetta emulator allows PPC-only apps to be run on x86 systems. On the software side, OS X is completely different from OS 9, but the Carbon framework let programs run natively in either one, and the Classic environment could run older programs within OS X.

      Had Microsoft wanted to, they could have let Windows Mobile apps run on WP7S, perhaps in a virtual environment. But they didn't, so everyone has to rewrite their apps from scratch.

    4. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Here's why people are annoyed

      Microsoft manages to get people to move their code along by gradually upgrading the OS. Minor changes are often required along the way.

      The problem with WinMo is it has stagnated for so long they've had to massively change it. I can quite understand why people are annoyed as it means everything won't work.

    5. chr0m4t1c
      Thumb Up

      Yes, but

      is this better or worse than the "closed shop" Apple model whereby all the apps are in one place and all the developers can be told of the upcoming OS change and given a chance to test/rebuild their apps for the new OS.

      Of course the end users have all the fun taken out of their experience too, they can download all the updates as soon as they become available by connecting to one site.

      I'm sure they all miss that treasure hunt experience; you know, the one where the developer has changed both their own software house name and the name of the app three or four times since you bought it, just to make it extra easy to find the latest version.

      Nope, I can't see advantage of the Apple approach at all.

      No idea why Google and Nokia are trying to replicate it at all.

      Honest.

    6. G_C
      Linux

      Consistancy is important...

      Wether it's consistancy in operability or just disliking Microsoft... is all good!

      We all just love watching the car crash that is the Microsoft Corporation!

      If Microsoft was trembling on a ledge of a tall building we'd all be shouting jump!

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You got it in one

      The biggest fail of WinMo was the legacy stylus-based GUI. Supporting old apps, even if technically possible, would have been a UI train-wreck.

      WinCE served its use 10 years ago, but it's time it died.

  6. The Original Steve
    Go

    Is this a suprise?

    .Net has been out on WM for years and years. There's at least 8 months to build your .Net app and in theory only some tweaks are needed to run standard .Net apps from the PC onto the mobile with a GUI tweak.

    One platform for mobile, desktop and server. Sounds good to me.

    1. G_C
      Big Brother

      :o))

      and in the darkness bind them...

  7. SlabMan

    Recursion...

    Does that mean Adobe must write the WinPhone 7 version of the Flash player in SilverLight? That will be crawltime rather than runtime.

  8. heyrick Silver badge
    WTF?

    Hang on a mo...

    The company that has done perhaps more than any to keep the x86 alive and backwards compatibility to, like, the 6502 era is planning to launch a phone that won't run software written for earlier incarnations nor (unlike Psion 3-5 re. OPL) does it seem there's a relatively simple ay to rejig things...

    ...don't they realise the apps are what makes/breaks the platform? Why else is everyone and their dog whinging about iAppStore? It's because it is important, as is some useful level of backwards compatibility.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Cozy strangle hold feeling...

    Yeeh! Next to the Sharepoint lockin (oh euh I mean "integration") on the phone, also the requirement to only use .NET and Silverlight.

    The lockin and down is complete!

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Like NT

    That is It's called "Windows", but it's actually *totally* different and needs a *completely* different build.

    Developers suckered once again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Er no.

      Most apps that ran on Win95/98/ME ran perfectly fine on NT.

  11. Neoc

    Vista for mobiles

    I'm running WinMo6.1 on a HTC phone (with a 3rd party GUI) and I am very happy with it. From the sound of it, WinMo6.x is to WinPhone7 as XP is to Vista... the new version is flashier and easier to use by people with no clue, but utterly useless to people who actually want to *use* the capabilities of the hardware.

  12. Mikel
    Gates Halo

    A clean slate

    In IT the field is so dynamic that there are few things you can really count on. Over the decades though, one thing has remained reliable: the consistent performance, stability and security of a new Microsoft operating system. Without a doubt the experience of one of their total rewrites is almost a committed guarantee. Excitement throughout the blogosphere is building to a fevered pitch over the utterly amazing things they're sure to have done with it this time, and how much fun we'll have experiencing and reporting the result ourselves.

    It's a fresh new OS with a full suite of Microsoft appliations without the clutter of an app store with thousands of Apps. Fortunately it will be locked to Bing and Silvelight, the zune marketplace, etc. so I won't be troubled with choosing my search engine and browser plugins and all that other stuff. I hate having to choose - it makes me responsible when things turn out wrong. So nifty Microsoft is keyed into this common demand for less choice, less confusion.

    I, for one, can't wait to see it in action.

  13. Tim Bates

    Well, off I go.

    A few little apps were all that held me to Windows Mobile. I guess if my next phone is unlikely to run them whichever way I go, I may aswell go to Android.

    This new OS is actually making the iPhone seem attractive. Which is pretty sad.

  14. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    WTF?

    What kind of programming experience do you people have? I'm guessing "none".

    .NET has been supported on WinMo for ages. It's not new. And it's a sh*tload easier to code to than the ancient legacy APIs Windows has been saddled with for so long.

    New phones won't appear much before the end of the year, so unless you're porting a WinMo7 version of Oracle's entire database management system to the platform, you have plenty of time to switch.

    As for having to "rewrite" code, stop whining! C# has the letter "C" in it for a reason: While it's not a C clone, 90% of your core logic will convert quite easily. It's programming, not neurosurgery. Programming is, was, and always will be just a fancy name for "translation". You've already designed and written the damned app once; you *know* how to write it now. If you genuinely have trouble switching from one C-derived language to another, you're in the wrong damned industry.

    (To the terminally ignorant: No craftsman worth a damn uses just one tool for everything. A professional programmer should be expert in *multiple* programming languages. If you only know one programming language, you're an amateur at best.)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    its gonna be shit

    if its going to be built using .net its going to be shit, slow and have no battery life ;D the interface is utterly f*&%ed too - microsoft: hire some usability experts that aren't smoking crack along with the w3c guys plzkthnx.

    OH YEA and when are you (microsoft) going to release a c compiler that targets current generation arm archs FGS! hmm? hmm? hmm?

  16. jason 7 Silver badge
    Grenade

    So it seems the issue is just......

    ....laziness and lack of experience on the coders part to be able to adapt to a new(ish) challenge.

    Yep seen that before.

  17. Bugs R Us
    Thumb Up

    It's gonna be very cool

    I agree with previous poster. If you've developed your app already and you consider yourself to be a profressional software developer/engineer then you should have little or no trouble porting it to .NET. So shut up and get coding or f**k off to Android/iPhone. At the end of the day MS will still be around.

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Or not use .NET or Silverlight

    "If genuine - and they look pretty good to us - then developers who don't have a personal relationship with Microsoft will need to walk away from their C++ legacy code and get down to some serious .NET learning, or start getting used to Silverlight."

    Or not get down to .Net or Silverlight, just make apps for Droid instead. At least, that's what I would do.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Efficiency

    "As for having to "rewrite" code, stop whining! C# has the letter "C" in it for a reason: While it's not a C clone, 90% of your core logic will convert quite easily. It's programming, not neurosurgery. Programming is, was, and always will be just a fancy name for "translation". You've already designed and written the damned app once; you *know* how to write it now. If you genuinely have trouble switching from one C-derived language to another, you're in the wrong damned industry."

    .Net and Java can't deliver enough performance on these Personal Mainframes we also call "PCs". You suggest that poor ARM processor running at 1Ghz and having 0.1Watts of leccy available can do ?? You are definitely a junior programmer who never concerned himself with efficiency (time, space and energy consumption).

    Google just released the NDK (native developement kit), so you can program around that hog named "Dalvik". Apple, WinMo < 7, Symbian all have C/C++ or ObjectiveC APIs. If you really want to have more than 30 minutes of battery time, you cannot use Java or .Net.

    MS just published their VisualStudio 2010 beta, which needs PCs with 4GB of RAM for task that could be done with 512MB before, because it uses the "modern" .Net tech. FAIL.

    (I would be happy about MS using a safe and efficient language, but .Net is just safe)

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    @Mikel

    "In IT the field is so dynamic that there are few things you can really count on. Over the decades though, one thing has remained reliable: the consistent performance, stability and security of a new Microsoft operating system. "

    I sense, somehow a lack of sincerity in these remarks.

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