"Said McCarthy 'In the future, we are looking to deepen our development work with a handful of key OEMs at the hardware design phase, with much more carefully defined hardware specifications to match software requirements, which in turn will deliver even more powerful mobile experiences for our customers. This has led to this chassis' concept that is familiar to the work Microsoft does with hardware partners in the PC industry to create high quality products.'"
It's no secret that Microsoft is playing catch-up in the smartphone market - nor that hardware-software integration has always been a problem for Windows Mobile from way back in the day. Microsoft's approach has heretofore been hardware agnostic which meant that not only have some manufacturers issued models that were under-powered for the OS, but that even those devices with sufficient horses didn't always have the response time one would expect from examining the raw specs. Partly that was because hardware advances didn't keep up with the OS (especially with the transition to WM5), as well as the OS not being optimised for specific hardware. With Windows Phone 7 (I'm still trying to get to grips with the change in terminology - again), MS is hoping to change all that by specifying some pretty steep minimum hardware requirements (including multi-touch), which also hopefully means that the OS code will be optimised to that hardware. Too little too late? Possibly - it'll be another year before we see any WP7 devices, and none of MS' competitors are going to stand pat in the meant time.