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Why Microsoft Is The New Apple

Microsoft's MIX conference was a goldmine of data regarding its new Windows Phone 7 platform. Some of the news was exciting, such as the story for developers. But there's a lot of bad news, too. In fact, Windows Phone 7 is so much like the iPhone, Microsoft is now the new Apple.
Microsoft's MIX conference was a goldmine of data regarding its new Windows Phone 7 platform. Some of the news was exciting, such as the story for developers. But there's a lot of bad news, too. In fact, Windows Phone 7 is so much like the iPhone, Microsoft is now the new Apple.Earlier this year, Microsoft whipped up a lot of excitement over Windows Phone 7 with its splashy launch at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. Analysts and the media saw genuine hope for Microsoft and the future of its mobile platform. We didn't know all the details, however, especially those related to developing for the new mobile OS from Microsoft. Now we do. Microsoft is mimicking Apple on more than one front. Let's take a look a look at the similarities.

Windows Phone 7 will not support user-replaceable memory cards. Nearly every phone platform on the planet supports removable memory. The only two I can think of that don't are Apple's iPhone and Palm's webOS. You can add WinPho7 to the list. This will surely upset people. Microsoft's Charlie Kindel said that the company will work with phone manufacturers to ensure that there is enough memory on board for applications and user content. So far this has worked for Apple. Will it work for Windows Phones?

Next, and this is a killer, Windows Phone 7 won't support true multitasking. Yeah, you heard that right. One of the features that Apple iPhone users have been begging for is not going to be available from Microsoft's new platform, either. What does this mean? It means that third-party applications won't be able to run in the background. "Apps that run arbitrarily in the background create an end user experience where battery life and responsiveness of the system becomes … inconsistent," Kindel said. "We focused on getting a set of experiences right where we didn't have to support [multitasking]."

Windows Phone 7 will not support USB mass storage mode. This means that you can't plug it into a computer and use it as an alternate hard drive. It also means you can't drag-and-drop files from a PC to the device and vice versa. Same as iPhone. Instead, you'll have to use specialized syncing software. Think Zune.

There will be no file system on Windows Phone 7 devices. Applications can only access their own directory. Same as iPhone.

Users won't be able to delete native Windows Phone 7 applications from their device. Sound familiar? iPhone users can't delete native iPhone apps, either, such as that pesky Stocks application.

Windows Phone 7 won't permit any custom user interfaces developed by third-party companies. That means HTC's Sense and TouchFlo 3D user interfaces won't be allowed on Windows Phone 7. The iPhone doesn't allow third-party shells, either.

Last, Over the Air reported yesterday that the only way to install applications onto Windows Phone 7 devices will be through the new Windows Phone Marketplace. The only way to install applications on the iPhone is through the iPhone Apps Store. Also, applications for WinPho7 will need to be approved by Microsoft, just as iPhone apps must be approved by Apple.

Still excited about Windows Phone 7?