Windows Phone Will Not Support Multitasking
Windows Phone, the next-generation Windows Mobile platform from Microsoft, will be following down the same path as the iPhone, but not in a way many will like. Much like the iPhone, the OS will not be fully multitasking.
The iPhone allows limited multitasking, with Apple’s core integrated apps being able to run. You cannot, however, run a third-party app in the background (without jailbreaking the device, that is). This means, for example, that if you answer a phone call while a GPS app is running, the GPS app will shut down automatically. That will probably be, in terms of Murphy’s Law, right when you get lost.
In Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft will be doing pretty much the same thing. The exception will be if Microsoft supports a special background service, such as the background music service they refer to with regard to Pandora.
To get around this issue, Microsoft will support push notifications, just as the iPhone does, which enables third-party apps to send status and messages to a phone even if the application is not running in the background.
Why has Microsoft taken this stance? Basically, for the same reason as Apple: battery life. Charlie Kindel, manager of Microsoft’s Windows Phone App Platform and Developer Experience program, said:
“Apps that run arbitrarily in the background create an end user experience where battery life and responsiveness of the system becomes … inconsistent. We focused on getting a set of experiences right where we didn’t have to support multitasking, but we will over time.”
Rumors over iPhone OS 4.0 finally supporting multitasking have arisen of late, so it would be embarrassing for Microsoft if that happens, and Windows Phone is the only next-generation smartphone platform that does not. Both Android and Palm’s webOS support full multitasking.
Meanwhile, in addition, say goodbye to microSD and other memory cards on any Windows Phone 7 seres phones. Microsoft won’t support those any longer, which makes sense considering the size of the installed memory on newer platform devices. Still, people can always find uses for these types of cards, if not for storage per se, then for transferring files easily.