Windows Phone 7 hits RTM

Microsoft is celebrating Release to Manufacturing of its upcoming smartphone OS – Windows Phone 7.

The final integration of Windows Phone 7 with OEM partners’ hardware, software, and networks is underway, the work of WP7 internal engineering team is largely complete.

Microsoft claims that Windows Phone 7 is the most thoroughly tested mobile platform Microsoft has ever released.  The nightly testing automation included as many as 10,000 devices, daily. And after half million hours of fully automated test passes, they are ready.

Windows Phone 7 brings a whole new experience to smartphones by presenting new intuitive Hubs that are nothing but Live feeds from various Social networks, media.

A Look at Windows Phone  7 Architecture

System & Kernel: Windows Phone 7 is based 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.

Is The Time Right?

Microsoft is entering the race late at a time when iPhone and Android have captured most of the market and still growing Rapidly. Will WP7 makeup for the delay ?

Stay tuned for more  on Windows PhoneAndroidiPhoneProgramming and Tech news via @taranfx on Twitter or:

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