New Windows phones won't run current apps

March 5, 2010 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
Windows Phone 7

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. has said its new software for smart phones, Windows Phone 7 series, is a "clean break" with the past. Now it's clear just how clean that break is: The new phones, expected late this year, won't run any applications written for older versions of Microsoft's phone software.

In a blog post Thursday, Microsoft executive Charlie Kindel, who handles contact with outside software developers, said that jettisoning support for older applications was necessary to make the new operating system as powerful and user-friendly as possible.

The announcement is perhaps most disappointing to companies that have created their own software to run on Windows phones issued to their employees. The news also leaves with a dilemma: they can write applications for Windows Mobile 6.5, which will soon be a dead end, or they can write for Windows Phone 7, which isn't coming out until later this year.

Phone providers compete in part by providing support for as many applications as they can, and everyone is trying to catch up to Apple Inc.'s successful App Store, which has more than 100,000 applications. Microsoft is leaving behind tens of thousands of applications written for different versions of Windows Mobile that go back more than a decade.

Few of those applications are up to today's standards. They're also designed for phones that came with styluses for precise input. Windows Phone 7 Series is designed for touch screens that work well with fingers but don't work with fine styluses.

Inc. made a similar "clean break" last year, abandoning an operating system that was more than a decade old in favor of a completely new one. However, the new system is able to run applications written for the old one.

Kindel said Microsoft still will support Windows Mobile 6.5 "for years to come," and expects some new devices with that software will come out.

Explore further: Microsoft Announces Windows Mobile 6.5

More information: Microsoft blog post:


Related Stories

Microsoft Announces Windows Mobile 6.5

February 17, 2009

( -- At the Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona, Microsoft officially revealed the new Windows phones featuring new user-friendly software and services. The next generation of Windows phones will be based ...

Microsoft replays Zune design for phone comeback

February 15, 2010

(AP) -- Apple Inc. rocked the wireless business by combining the functions of a phone and an iPod. Now, more than two years later, Microsoft Corp. has its comeback: phone software that works a lot like its own Zune media ...

Verizon Wireless downplays Linux phones

April 1, 2009

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless considers Linux-based software a possible long-term contender for use on its phones, but doesn't view it as a "preferred" solution, the carrier's head said.

Recommended for you

Microsoft aims at Apple with high-end PCs, 3D software

October 26, 2016

Microsoft launched a new consumer offensive Wednesday, unveiling a high-end computer that challenges the Apple iMac along with an updated Windows operating system that showcases three-dimensional content and "mixed reality."

Making it easier to collaborate on code

October 26, 2016

Git is an open-source system with a polarizing reputation among programmers. It's a powerful tool to help developers track changes to code, but many view it as prohibitively difficult to use.

Dutch unveil giant vacuum to clean outside air

October 25, 2016

Dutch inventors Tuesday unveiled what they called the world's first giant outside air vacuum cleaner—a large purifying system intended to filter out toxic tiny particles from the atmosphere surrounding the machine.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Mar 05, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
not rated yet Mar 05, 2010
Strange, it looks like iPhoneification of the microsoft line.
5 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2010
Good. I hate how legacy-think keeps everybody stuck in the 20th Century.
not rated yet Mar 06, 2010
Too many "clean breaks" will spell the end

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.