Windows Phone 7 Architecture

We already know quite a lot about Windows Phone 7 but little was known about the OS Internals until someone got hold of Microsoft’s Documents of Windows Phone 7.

The Guide contains a lot of information each one of you ahd been waiting to hear about.

System & Kernel: Windows Phone 7 on Windows CE 6.0.  CE 6.0 had been around for a while but was never used with Windows Mobile 6.5. CE 6.0 is a leap ahead of other windows CE.

The shell and application platform reside in user space, while the kernel, drivers, file systems, network, graphics/rendering, and the phone update system run in kernel space. Since we’re talking a 32bit operating system, it can only address 4GB of memory – 2GB for processes, 2GB for the kernel.

The mandated processor will be an ARMv7 design.  Multi-touch, FM Tuner, Wi-Fi, GPS, and camera are also mandated.  The default screen resolution is 800×480 pixels, but developers can go as low as 480×320 (the resolution of the current iPhone).

Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0 and 4.0 support is noticeably absent, though the phone will support the widespread Bluetooth 2.1 standard.  Microsoft hopefully plans an update at some point to add support for later versions of the wireless communication standard, but there’s no specific details at this point.

Graphics: Windows Phone 7 leverages Direct3D from DirectX 11 for full blown 3D graphics on the mobile. Why is it powerful? It’s exact Desktop replica of DirectX 11, not any trimmed down version. But the scenario is different than the desktop, Phone OEMs will have to write the 2D and 3D drivers for their hardware and Microsoft will deliver the framework.

FileSystems: Windows Phone 7 supports two file-systems: IMGFS and TexFAT. IMGFS  holds the actual system and operating system files and has been defacto in windows mobile phones since long. TexFAT is an extended version of the FAT file system capable of addressing files larger than 4GB, and is used to store “user files”. However, Microsoft has opted for a unified storage approach, which means that applications and users can not distinguish between files in local storage or on a memory card.

The Guide also details the level of control OEMs and carriers would have over the device.They would no longer have control to change everything (like HTC did on HD2) but may alter some limited stuff which includes: connection icons and carrier logo, wallpapers, and change the boot screen, bookmarks, change the default search engine (yes), and install a maximum of 6 applications in the ROM. These applications must be free – no trial software. Apart from that they can add new items to the home menu but cannot delete any of the existing ones.

Software Updates: Updates must be approved by and go through Microsoft’s update service. Like android, small updates will be OTA (over-the-air),  but larger updates will use the Zune software and a USB cable with a windows PC.

Stay tuned for more  on Windows PhoneAndroidiPhone, Programming and Tech news via @taranfx on Twitter or:

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