The 'have-nots' of Windows Phone 7

While we know quite a lot about what Windows Phone 7 will and will not include at launch, presumably due to being rushed to market, there are always a negative things that pop up that catch out attention.

Over at .NET Reference blog, the author has posted a laundry list of 'haves' and 'have-nots'--most we're aware of, but here are a few that we weren't:

  • No RAPI support. There will no interacting with a WP7 device via the desktop. Obviously there will be some synchronization with Outlook, but nothing the developer will have control of.
  • Applications must be Silverlight 3. Silverlight 4 will not be available for WP7. (Edit: It's actually Silverlight 3+)

  • No Bluetooth API. While there is going to be Bluetooth support on the phone, there is no Bluetooth API.
  • No Video Capture Support. Phones will have a camera but not video capture support, and also no video brush. (Edit: for 3rd parties, not OEM)
  • No Outside TrueType Fonts - Microsoft experts claimed that you will not be able to use TrueType fonts other than the ones delivered with the device. This limitation makes since, how would you get them on the device. While there is supposed to be support for embedding TrueType fonts in your xap file in Silverlight 4, this will not be the version used on the device.

No Remote API (RAPI) support refers to the ability to use the desktop to manipulate the file system--since users won't have access to that anyways, it's no surprise that it's not there. In addition, RAPI is also used to remote-control the phone or treat it as an extension of the desktop--so at least initially that trick is a no-go, however apps like 'My MediaRemote' get around this limitation.

Devices like the iPhone and Palm Pre both launched without video support initially, so the fact that WP7 lacks it too at least share precedent. We expect that function though to be forthcoming in maintenance releases. Still a bit odd though as we've seen the LG Panther list 'HD 720P' video recording on the box.

The lack of Bluetooth API means not much support outside of basic headset support. Come to think of it, what's the status on A2DP on launch? We'd hope for a music device it would be there...

Finally, the author of the blog notes this complaint:

The TechEd demos of WP7 applications had a common theme; they crashed, hung up, or gave peculiar error messages. For a platform that is going to be delivered in the October timeframe (3 months away), it is hard to have much short-term faith in the new platform.

 That's something we have not heard much of from anyone, so whether or not these were flukes or not, the sentiment seems to be the opposite. Take it with a grain of salt but also consider it a possibility.

Update: Some of our more knowledgeable visitors have clarified some of the above; read below.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • It seems more like Silverlight 3+. It seems there are some functions beyond SL3.
  • @William Lefkovics, @Josh thanks for the clarifications ;-)
  • The author got a fewt hings wrong. It's Silverlight 3 + functions specific to WP7 and some SL4 functions in there too. The no video capture support is for Third Party applications not Native OMEMs apps. etc.. And looking at all the TechEd feeds on MSTechED I didn't see any major app crash at all. The only problems were caused by the network connections when demoing connected applications.
  • wtf?! no video capture?? the crappy flip phone i had 5 years ago could do video capture. sure the iphone launched without so its happened before, that doesnt make it justifiable!
  • Maybe you should read the posts ahead of you, along with the corrections. No video capture for 3rd party apps. OEM's will still have it..
  • the comments before mine as well as the corrections in the article where both posted after the first time i read the article douchebag. thanks though!
  • The picture is starting to look cloudy and foggy now. Not a good sign. It might mean that the first few devices will get poor reviews and performance until the first updates. Typical MS behavior. Let's hope they plan better than this, and, come October, the final version is more polished. They should remember the competition they are up against and the bad reputation Windows products have.
  • I fully intend to get a WP7 device, but is it just me or is it looking like we might be better served to wait until Q1 2011 before we buy one?
  • No need to wait for 2011, this device will be fully up datable if there are issues. Also I'm a Silverlight / WP7 developer and I haven't seen the stability errors, not in my own use or at mix10, I can't imagine the stability of the platform has degraded since the mix10 demos that just wouldn't make sense.
  • I think that article is very pessimistic, and time will tell the truth. In the Web, is a new "phenomenon", in respect to WP7, I I believe, not all bad news, need to understand how it will work WP7 "The new Windows Phone platform has attracted interest from a vast array of .NET developers who are quite familiar with desktop and server development. However, phones, PDAs, and other battery powered devices are very different animals. Remember, you
  • Other relevant entrie, according for the topic (same blog) [QUOTED]
    I saw a blog post today saying
  • My interest in Windows Phone 7 has ended reading these facts. I am not gonna buy it now.
    Quick Trim