Andy Lees recently spoke about the current state of Windows Phone and the direction that the hardware that carries it is heading. He confirmed that both dual-core processors and 4G LTE are on the way. It has been known for a while now that Qualcomm and ST-Ericsson would be bringing dual-core computing to WP7 devices. When he was asked why they weren't already, Lees defended the decision saying,
“They’re all single core, but I suspect that they will be faster in usage than any dual-core phone that you put against it, and that’s the point."
He went on to explain that it was a practical decision to stick to single-core CPUs until the operating system was set to take advantage of anything greater. With Microsoft trying to break into the mobile phone marketplace, it makes sense to keep costs down on handsets if it doesn't affect performance.
The motivation behind not including 4G support appeared to be equally as pragmatic.
“The first LTE phones were big and big (users) of the battery, and I think it’s possible to do it in a way that is far more efficient, and that’s what we will be doing,” Lees explained.
Although this has merit, it can certainly be argued that Microsoft missed a chance to capitalize on the 4G marketing bandwagon early on. Various carriers have all seen success with their 4G Android offerings and WP7 could have been part of that. But Lees sticks to the "slow and steady" approach:
"I think that what our strategy is is to put things in place that allow us to leapfrog, and I think that’s how we’ve gone from worse browser to the best browser, and I think the same is true with hardware."
The first crop of 4G WP7 phones are coming very soon, so we'll see how it goes.