Thurrott interviews Charlie Kindel & Greg Sullivan of Microsoft about WP7

Paul Thurrott (SuperSite for Windows) is busy writing a book on Windows Phone 7, specifically its deepest, darkest secrets. Actually, it's not so much a dirty exposé as a thorough treatment of the fledgling OS. In doing so, he's spending some time in Redmond, toying with the new OS and gathering data for his book. It's there he was able to sit down and talk with Microsoft partner group program manager Charlie Kindel and senior product manager Greg Sullivan.

When those folks talk, you listen. And truth be told, they actually give some solid answers to plaguing questions like copy and paste, Mozilla and Skype skipping the initial release and even tablets with WP7 (see our resolution/DPI discussion).

We won't spoil all the answers as they're actually quite thorough, so you should read the whole thing. However, in response to all the naysayers and those lodging a lot of complaints, we will leave you with the main gist of Microsoft's position on such criticisms:

We have to have focus. And we made a decision around what we would focus on for this turn of the crank, for the first version. We knew this would create difficulties for certain third parties to build on. It's impossible to build a high performance race car on a mountain bike frame. They're good for certain things only. But we made the decision to focus on things we will do really, really well. For those that we didn't, we feel that we're better off waiting until we can do them really, really well.

Apple took the same approach: nail the basics, don't take shortcuts and build off of a solid core. Sure, when Apple did it, the marketplace was vastly different--they had time to kill. Then again, Android took the exact same approach and it paid off too. Will the market be as forgiving towards Microsoft and Windows Phone 7? We're not sure, but to be honest, we rather like this slow, deliberate approach that they are taking. Lets just hope it pays off.

Read more at SuperSite for Windows.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Same old story, basically trying to duplicate the iphone in every way. Problem is the iphone has evolved, so has android so WP7 ends up looking poorly designed and executed. They dont seem to get that there is no real compelling reason to get a WP7 phone to compensate for the lack of features - zune is basically an music playing interface and Xbox live wont even be close to Xbox Live Arcade so nothing new there. From what we've seen of the Kin and their lack of basic social networking features I think we may see something like the WebOS scenario, welcomed as an alternative to the big 2 but ultimately not really considered a contender as a top smartphone OS.
  • But what's their alternative? I'm sure if they could have jammed everything in a 1.0 release they wanted to and have it out by 2010 instead of 2011, they would have done that. It's not like they're holding out on us because they think it's a good idea to make people want. They're just being real about it. And at least they're not like Apple, denying that this stuff is important--they're being transparent and that seems to bother people whereas everyone gave Apple and Android a free pass.
  • You still don't understand how big projects and deadlines work do you? Stop trying to make it sound like they're leaving things out just to leave things out. That's not the case at all, and they keep saying this but it seems peoples reading abilities have taken a nose dive. When you have 18 to 24 months to redo a whole mobile OS from scratch and have a large need to get something out sooner rather than later you have to put things (features/APIs) that don't score that high on the list as secondary. That's how it works, that's how it's always worked, and that's how it will always work. Do you or anyone remember Android 1.0? or even 1.5? What about 1.6? Compare those to 2.1 and soon 2.2. Notice how they never got much going in the first release did they? Yet Android is the best thing since sliced bread now? As long as MS keeps updating the OS and does so quick enough there are no reasons to think why this won't be a contender.
  • I know you are MS's biggest defender but lets be real here, MS has had YEARS, since 2007 to respond, and when they eventually respond (close to 2011) you think its acceptable for them to come to the table with an incomplete product just because they SAY they will update it? Will the other platforms be standing still while MS plays catchup? And why copy yet another characteristic of your competitors, just because apple and google did it doesnt mean MS has to follow like a mindless sheep. I'm not buying the "big projects and deadlines" story, you cant compare android or even apple because that was their first attempt ever at a mobile OS, Microsoft has been doing this for 10 years, there is no excuse for them releasing a feature-poor OS promising nirvina-inducing updates in the future. They couldnt even get it right with the Kin, which has basically one function to perform, what makes you think WP7 will be any different? You only have to look at their recent history, promising IE 6 which didnt appear for months, MIA updates to 6.5.3 which was released months ago, yet we are supposed to believe MS now will be timely with updates?
  • clearly msft dropped the ball on mobile in a major way in the urgency of their repsonse to the iphone. clearly thwey are still way bwehind the eight-ball clearly they have a lot of catching up and proving to the marketplace that they are still a contender. these are all self-evident truths. regarding what "made it into v1.0" - not everything can. the biggest issue is time. and msft has to release to manufacturers months in advance of q4 shelf availability. winpho7 success hinges on: - top-notch efficient and speedy hardware that has impecable build qualities
    - flawless interface design and flow
    - pervasive worldwide multi-carrier distribution and support
    - bringing something undeniably nwew and refreshing to the mobile world
    - opinion shaping, educational branding and awareness marketing campaigns
    - well executed public relations to influence the influencers
    - a little luck
    - lots of managerial focus it's a big ask, but it is possible. and the os technology is only only one of many critical execution details.
  • Windows Phone 7 will do just fine. It's hilarious reading you people who think you're experts predicting it's failure and blah blah. Their market share in the mobile market will continue slowly declining and will continue to do so a bit after launch of the first generation but then it will start picking back up. May take a year or two but it'll do it. I have no doubts Microsoft will pull this off. Not saying they'll boom and dominate the market but they'll do well.