With Windows Phone 7 Microsoft has specified basic hardware requirements for all Windows Phone 7 devices. Known as WP7 chassis, this standard across phones is to provide a similar experience across all WP7 devices. The current chassis requirements are:
- ARMv7 based applications processor
- Hardware accelerated DirectX and Direct3D
- Capacative multi-touch screen
- Bluetooth + Wi-Fi
- FM Radio
- Accelerometer, compass, light, proximity sensor
Another important shift with Windows Phone 7 is that Microsoft will be pushing software updates and not the OEMs. In a tweet @lituus has explained how the upgrdes will be numbered:
- major updates – 7.X00
- performance updates – 7.XY0
- security patches – 7.XYZ
He further points out that with Windows Phone 8 hardware will get a refresh, which means that the chassis requirements will be upgraded and existing Windows Phone 7 devices will not be compatible with Windows Phone 8.
#tip WP7 major updates as 7.X00 version, performance updates as 7.XY0 & security patches as 7.XYZ. v 8.000 for next-gen HW to be clean break
In my opinion, this has a good and bad side to it:
The Good: It will allow phone manufacturers and Microsoft to leverage latest hardware capabilities.
The Bad: WP7 value for money now depends on WP7’s shelf life as decided by Microsoft. To put that in perspective, iPhones have a 2 year shelf life after which some features of new iPhone OS updates don’t work on older iPhones and that is quite frustrating given that iPhones aren’t exactly economical devices.
(h/t to Michael, I had missed the tweets)