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Microsoft mobilises partner ecosystem for WP7 launch

by Scott Bicheno on 12 October 2010, 16:20

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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By now regular HEXUS readers have probably had enough of us banging on about Microsoft's new mobile operating system - Windows Phone 7 - but we thought it was noting the extent of the partner support on show at the launch.

As we have already pointed out, Microsoft is trying to occupy the middle ground between athe completely controlled ecosystem of Apple's iPhone and the wide open ecosystem of Android. It's doing this by identifying a few partners that are fully bought into (literally, probably) WP7.

On the hardware side we've known since February that Qualcomm would be the launch chip partner. We got some comments from Jason Bremner, product management VP for QCT - Qualcomm's chip division.

"Microsoft chose to work with Qualcomm as the partner for WP7 because of our ability to provide leading AP and modem technology that is integrated into a single platform," said Bremner. "By working extremely closely with one partner, we were able to optimize their great software with our great hardware which resulted in an overall better consumer experience.  

"The first WP7 devices are based on QSD8250 or QSD8650, which feature a custom 1GHz CPU for data processing as well as a separate processor dedicated to modem functions." I.e. the original Snapdragon rather than any of the newer ones, which is a little bit disappointing, but is probably once more for platform optimization reasons.

Microsoft could not afford crappy reviews of the first Windows phones - that may well have killed the project at birth - so has been a bit conservative with the first phones. Not only do we get Snapdragon mark one, but features like copy-and-paste won't appear until next year. Some commentators are making a big deal of this but it has never occurred to us to crave that functionality in our Android phone.

As it is, Microsoft seems to be getting some good vibes for WP7 the day after launch. Yes, it got the Fry WMD, but most respected commentators seem to agree that it has done at least enough to be considered a credible contender once more. That's probably the best Microsoft could have hoped for.