Microsoft promises NFC and more hardware choices for Windows Phone

By Tom Warren, on 20th Oct 11 4:55 am with 21 Comments

Andy Lees at All Things Digital D Asia

Microsoft’s Windows Phone chief Andy Lees has revealed that the company plans to support NFC and more hardware choices in Windows Phone next year.

Speaking during the All Things Digital Asia D conference on Wednesday, Lees detailed some of the future aspects of Windows Phone. Lees explained that Microsoft’s tight control of the hardware specs has prevented fragmentation. “One of the things [Microsoft] wanted to stop was fragmentation. We wanted to stop problems with fragmentation, so we’ve locked a lot of things down. We want partners to add value, but not in a way that’s chaotic,” he said. The tight control may change next year as Microsoft will allow hardware vendors to extend their devices in future. “We have been building an architecture that allows software vendors and hardware vendors to add their value [...] Some things we will do in 2012 will let us extend that,” he explained. This is my next reports that Lees also revealed that Microsoft will supply the “right pieces [...] to enable manufacturers to enable their own hardware support with device drivers.”

Lees also addressed Microsoft’s Android battles during a Q&A session. “If you are a software-based business, you need to be able to protect your intellectual property. … Android reads on a whole bunch of innovations that we made,” he expained. “But we’re not trying to stop it, we’re just trying to make sure that we protect our intellectual property.” Lees also added that Microsoft isn’t “here to stop competition in any way shape or form, we’re simply trying to extract value from our innovations.” Lees also briefly discussed the possibility of mobile payments on Windows Phone. He explained that Microsoft isn’t trying to compete with other services but will provide the platform for mobile payments.

Image Credit: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

  • Guest

    Not impressed with Lees, at all.

    • Anonymous

      Please explain what would have impressed you.

    • Massih

      better hardware specs such as : dual core CPU, at least 1gb ram, 1080 HD video recording, NFC, etc

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      I’d rather my device work smoothly than have it crammed with bugs.   Those things are coming but you have to be a little more patient.  The OS is nearing it’s first full year of release.  Some argue those things should have been present at release but again, refer to my first sentence.  It’s better to have a product that ‘simply works’ than to clammer to try and go head to head with established platforms/devices.

      Windows Phone is going to be more than just a phone in the coming years.  It’ll be part of the three screens.  You’ll have your desktop, xbox and phone all able to communicate and do some very cool and useful things.*

      Patience. :)

      *or that’s what they are heavily implying at least. ;)

    • http://kissride.wordpress.com Candide Yams

      Even Apple didn’t start with all of those bells and whistles. It takes time to develop that sort of stuff and there has to be a genuine need for dual core. WP7 doesn’t need it yet. I expect the Apollo release to be the one where we’ll see 1080p, NFC, and dual core.

    • Massih

      other missing things: higher resolution, changeable memory card

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OIDXOI5OEMTX6Z3O5YUBFSISA Diego3336

    Look, don’t get me wrong, I am a huge MS fan since day one but I am starting to get pissed off with all those “next year” talk. Mango is great, no doubt about this, but WP7 is still missing some features such as VPN, better support for users outside USA, and better hardware.

    Yes, I know WP7 runs great on current hardware, but Microsoft is not Apple with a bunch of sheeps to buy whatever they put in the market, and even Apple is offering better hardware now.

    If you can’t reach the masses with a subpar hardware based on brand’s cult-following like Apple, so the logic way to attract new buyers is offer them state-of-the-art hardware like Google is currently doing.

    WP7 is still a phone for Microsoft fans like us. Either MS begins to sell WP7 at a lower cost than competition or push up the specs. There’s no way to attract new buyers offering a phone with a single core CPU, 800×480 display, 512mb ram and 16gb storage for almost the same price of an iPhone 4 or Samsung Galaxy SII.

    • Anonymous

      I hate to agree, but I’m starting to feel the same way.  Seeing phones like the Galaxy Nexus and Motorola RAZR while all we are getting is a CPU bump of 0.4GH.  I’m not trying to be a spec whore like Android users, but it’s starting to wear me out.  Nokia gave me some hopes, but it has taken them a long time and the leaks aren’t exactly getting me excited.  I almost had my friend convinced to get a WP7, but then he learned Grand Theft Auto 3 would be on iPhone and Android.  I don’t even know how you would play that game on a phone, but its just another bullet point against WP7 that is starting to make me think MS is going to loose this in the end.  Tango is suppose to be a pretty minor update, so I guess I have to stake my faith in WP8 next fall, which is around the same time I renew contract anyways.  Hopefully WP8 will finally match Android and iPhone in public mind-share.  Then again, I remember a year ago thinking “it’s okay, just wait for Mango”.  When WP8 comes out, MS cannot just match the 2011 Android phones.

    • http://twitter.com/RobertCFP Robert Wade

      Ugh!  If the “public mind-share” is completely hooked on “speeds & feeds”, then you’ll never see that.  But if Windows Phone can figure out a way to show off how much faster it is compared to the competition and gets you to the things you really do with a smartphone easier, THAT’S what will change the public opinion.  But I immediately look down my nose at anyone who starts spouting “dual core” garbage.  That tells me they have an operating system that is such a dog it needs faster hardware.  The Galaxy Nexus is expected to be over $800 unlocked, $300 w;/contract!  Why pay more for a smartphone than you would for a laptop?  If I can get a better experience and more use out of a device a third or half that price, why wouldn’t I?

    • Anonymous

      Robert, we all agree that dual core, at least currently, is a marketing gimmick.  The point Diego and I are making is that MS has no choice but to play the marketing gimmick game.  Like Diego says, MS doesn’t have the benefit of a large sheep like following.  It simply isn’t enough to provide the best product (which I firmly believe WP7 is).  MS also has to win over public-mindshare with marketing crap like “overclocked quad core and 4GB of RAM!!!”  You may not like how the world works, but it is what it is.  And considering how bad MS has always been at advertisements, don’t hold your breath on MS changing public opinion on stuff like dual core.  Only Apple can pull that off.

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      If it makes you feel any better, next year is only two months away. :D

    • http://twitter.com/RobertCFP Robert Wade

      I am SO sick of the “speeds & feeds” people.  I believe that’s SUCH a lame rack to hang your coat on these days.  I use to be that way, back in the Windows Mobile days and several years ago with my desktops.  I’ve since realized it’s not the hardware aspect I really care about—it’s how the experience is.  Windows 7 actually requires LESS specs to run well than Vista.  And Windows 8 is expected to be the same—the Developer Preview already runs circles around my TWICE AS FAST Windows 7 desktop.  In order to do what they can do, both Apple and Android HAVE to have bleeding edge hardware because their OS (particularly Android) is so HORRIBLE in operation. 
      Now, where hardware can and should make the difference is in the peripheral aspects.  Storage, cameras, Bluetooth, NFC, that sort of thing.  But I insist that it’s ridiculous to assume everyone cares about a device having a dual core processor.  I contend that anyone who DOES probably has no concept of the actual user experience—they are just a lemming hanging the words of what someone else says they should care about.

    • Anonymous

      apple’s is is hardly horrible in operation. The spec bumps are needed for marketing when you go to a store and the clerk says this phone has 2 cores 1gb of ram and 32gb of storage and this phone has one core, 528 mb of ram and 16 gb of storage, even if you have no idea what that means in actual operation, the 1st on sounds better. Plus the games are getting more graphic intensive on the phones and the speed will be needed. I want a windows phone for my next upgrade, but I’m still not sold on the hardware.

  • Guest

    This, on top of MSFT’s plan to bid on Yahoo, makes me wonder if Windows 8 will be all right…

  • Anonymous

    Fortunately, Andy Lees is trying to gather attention to the platform so that people who care more about the actual functionality of a device rather the specs. If you’re still whining for a dual core processor and more RAM, you probably haven’t used a Windows Phone because it really doesn’t need it [yet].

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3OIDXOI5OEMTX6Z3O5YUBFSISA Diego3336

      As I said before, I really don’t need a dual core CPU on my phone right now, but I bought my WP7 because I am a Microsoft fan. For those who aren’t MS fans, there’s not too much attractive on WP7 now besides the Metro UI.

      High specs attracts people for cars, computers and everything since the world is world, and Microsoft isn’t in situation to try to change people’s mind, so jump on the high-specs bandwagon and that’s it. If people want to waste their money on a extra hardware to be idled most of the time, let them, at least MS and OEMs will sell more WP7s, and that is what they need now.

    • Aryanosb

      I think you’re missing the point here. If you’re looking for a phone and you look at the some of the newer Android phones and see the specs and features (Dual-core, NFC, RAM) and then look at the upcoming Windows Phone 7 with lower specs and they sell for the same price, which one do you think most people would go for? It’s like saying I can buy a car fully loaded with all the options or buy a car with no options but for the same price. Sure the car with no options doesn’t need the extra features but wouldn’t it be nice to have them if they’re the same price?

      This is a no brainer for most people and they’ll likely go with Android so Microsoft needs to lower it’s prices to even consider getting people on-board. It’s nice to know that Microsoft has plans to upgrade hardware but they’re just doing it at too slow a pace in the mobile world and this is what I feel will hurt them in the end.

    • Anonymous

      Microsoft can’t lower the price since they don’t make the hardware. They can try to push the OEMs to lower the price.

    • Aryanosb

      Whoops, replied to the wrong post as we both agree on the same thing. Sorry.

    • http://www.gadgeterija.net Denis Jelec

      UIX was enough for me. No, I am not a fan of a single company out there, regardless of “preferences”. 

    • Massih

      i know that wp is working perfectly, even in my omnia 7 with mango, but the point that we are talking here is the way they can attract more customers and one of the important ways is to have some high-end, cutting edge devices that can compete with android devices