Wednesday, March 17, 2010
No User-Replaceable Storage on Windows phone 7 Devices: Please Proceed With Your Screaming and Yelling
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 03:28 PM
"We found out from Todd Brix of Microsoft that Windows Phone 7 Series will eschew user-replaceable memory. Memory cards may still be used by manufacturers and OEMs, but those won't be easily or readily accessible to the end-user. This will allow, as Microsoft puts it, for a better user experience on the device, and we're not sure that the primary motive for locking down storage memory is for a better experience - we're guessing it has to do with DRM though the strategy would go well with Microsoft's move to remove a file management system."
Although I tend to put a memory card in my phone and leave it there - rarely if ever taking it out - I've always like the idea of removable storage because there are two constants in the flash memory world: first, that the cards will always grow to have more storage, and second, that they'll get cheaper. I railed on Microsoft for not putting removable storage card slots in their Zune products, because it would have been a key advantage over the iPod, and now Microsoft is taking a step backwards in my opinion by removing the option for OEMs to offer removable storage cards. According to Todd Brix, this is due to wanting to offer a "better user experience". I call bunk on this point - any modern program not designed should automatically scan both local and removable storage and present the user with the content they want to see. If the user options up the photo application, it should show the user all the photos on their device, and their card, seamlessly. Anything less is just lazy programming and not caring about the user experience.
If HTC and the other OEMs offer devices with decent storage options (up to 32 GB, maybe even 64 GB if they want to rock the house), I personally won't care about this too much - but I know it shuts off a lot of scenarios for some people, and I wish Microsoft hadn't gone this route. I think in this respect, they're trying a bit too much to copy Apple - and that's not a good thing.
And since we're getting all the bad news out of the way this week, there's also no file system. I think the file system is a poorly-suited concept on a mobile phone and creates too much complexity for average users, but I know power users love having a file system.
You may now proceed with getting angry at Microsoft and swearing you'll move to Android.