Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Apr 2010 09:52 UTC
Windows We already know quite a lot about Windows Phone 7, but there's also a boatload of stuff we do not yet know. Dutch (oh yeah) technology news website Tweakers.net managed to get hold of a number of confidential internal Microsoft documents [Dutch] regarding Windows Phone 7, and they contain some intriguing stuff.
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WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

These applications must be free - no trial software.

While I don't like Microsoft I do have to admit they've thought things out pretty well with Windows Phone 7; carriers won't be able to anymore disable some features of the OS just so they can charge their users to get those features enabled, carriers can't anymore install trial-/crapware on them, and what's important for the end-users is that now Windows Phone 7 experience should be more-or-less the same regardless of the carrier.

Microsoft really wants to provide a consistent user experience and they seem to be thinking about end-user comfortability. That's very positive ;)

Reply Score: 6

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Well as we've seen with the PC OEM space, there is absolutely no depth that OEM manufacturers will sink to in crippling people's computers. And when they do overload it with crap, they'll even charge you to remove the crap.

Yup, I applaud Microsoft with this move. The question is if carriers will be so hot to adopt it too, rather than move to something they can abuse easier such as Android.

Reply Score: 1

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

If you want to get early access to new versions of Android or you want a Google logo or ad money than Android cannot be abused easily.

The FOSS version however, sure thing, you can completely fuck that one up, no problem.

Reply Score: 2

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

It's very Apple. Heh, yeah that was troll-like. But what I think is that MS is taking note of the things that might have made Apple successful (the tight-grip they maintain on their hardware/software). If MS plays it right, (an in my view they have already taken a few leaps and bounds over the past year with 7 and CE 6) they can reap some of the benefits Apple has with a consistent and somewhat controlled UI/product.

Also, as phone OSes and UIs become more complex (in their effort to be more simple to use) I think it is probably beneficial for some control to be exerted over what the OS can run on to be able to insure a good user experience.

Reply Score: 2

Questionable Point
by ricegf on Tue 20th Apr 2010 10:52 UTC
ricegf
Member since:
2007-04-25

If it's true that neither people nor apps can distinguish between internal and card memory, then that's a very bad decision. But I suspect that's not what "unified file system" really means.

*nix has had a unified file system for decades, but that just means everything can be accessed via a straight-line path - e.g., "/" is the root of the internal memory (boot device), "/home/ricegf" is my home directory, and "/media/sd" is the root of the card memory. But you can easily tell if you're writing to internal or card memory by looking for "/media" in the path.

Surely Microsoft has adopted something similar. Surely.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Questionable Point
by Bending Unit on Tue 20th Apr 2010 11:33 UTC in reply to "Questionable Point"
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06


*nix has had a unified file system for decades, but that just means everything can be accessed via a straight-line path - e.g., "/" is the root of the internal memory (boot device), "/home/ricegf" is my home directory, and "/media/sd" is the root of the card memory. But you can easily tell if you're writing to internal or card memory by looking for "/media" in the path.

Unless the card is mounted somewhere else you mean?

The single root file system and all that mounting is a pain...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Questionable Point
by darknexus on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Questionable Point"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The single root file system and all that mounting is a pain...


As opposed to what, drive letters? It isn't as if the user would be exposed to the internal mechanics of device mounting anyway. Most modern oses except Windows use this mounting approach, and even Windows is capable of it though it's not used by default.
I hope Microsoft means the SD card will simply be mounted somewhere (not that the user will know where, they'll most likely just see a little sd card icon). Having no idea what ends up on the card and what is in the internal memory sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially since the idea of removeable cards is that you can know what content is on which card and swap them out when you wish. As dumb as Microsoft has been in the past, I can't see them doing something *that* stupid.

Edited 2010-04-20 12:10 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Questionable Point
by Tuishimi on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Questionable Point"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I think you are probably right. And yes, I love that I can mount my drives in a folder...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Questionable Point
by ricegf on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Questionable Point"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

You mean inserting a card or USB stick and waiting 5 seconds for a file browser to open automatically is a pain? How so?

Or do you mean the last time you tried Linux in 1999, you had to type a mount command? In which case, having to upgrade Windows 95 to 95 SE just to access my USB drive is really a pain! :-D

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Questionable Point
by error32 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Questionable Point"
error32 Member since:
2008-12-10

I always mount my filesystems manually (apart from whats in /etc/fstab obviously). When I plug my mp3 player in the usb port to recharge it doesn't necessarily mean I want access the files on it...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Questionable Point
by _txf_ on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Questionable Point"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

why just not unmount it when the drive is mounted by the automounter. I know kde can show the drive without mounting it (dunno about nautilus).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Questionable Point
by Soulbender on Tue 20th Apr 2010 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Questionable Point"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Sure beats drive letters any day of the week. Not that you usually even have to worry about where something is mounted on a modern distro

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Questionable Point
by PlatformAgnostic on Tue 20th Apr 2010 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Questionable Point"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

What's really wrong with drive letters? Other than the fact that there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, they're pretty easy to understand for a typical user.

If you're advanced you can make a drive appear in any (empty) directory using junctions or symlinks, so it's possible to do it otherwise, but I don't see why people scoff so easily at drive letters.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Questionable Point
by darknexus on Tue 20th Apr 2010 18:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Questionable Point"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

What's really wrong with drive letters? Other than the fact that there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, they're pretty easy to understand for a typical user.

If you're advanced you can make a drive appear in any (empty) directory using junctions or symlinks, so it's possible to do it otherwise, but I don't see why people scoff so easily at drive letters.


Because you're never certain which drive letter some of your media will appear under unless you explicitly assign it. An example for you: I was loading XP on to someone's system using an auto-install disk. This computer had an integrated sd/mmc card reader as many do, there was no media in the drive. Windows installed ok, or so I thought, but then I rebooted and come to find that Windows ended up assigning the i: drive to the internal hard disk for some odd reason. It had assigned the sd reader to c:, however, Windows still thought it had been installed to c:. You can guess what happened then, I think.
With any modern mounting-based os, you know where the automount is going to place your volumes. In Linux, for example, it's /media/VolumeName (where VolumeName is the name of the filesystem). On OS X it's /Volumes/VolumeName, on (Open)Solaris it's /rmdisk/VolumeName, etc. There's no questioning where things are going to end up, unlike with drive letters which Windows has an annoying habbit of swapping around without warning unless you explicitly go into diskpart and assign one permanently.
It's time for drive letters to die the death they've deserved for twenty years. It was a fine concept when all you had to worry about was one or two floppy drives and one internal hard drive, but it has no place in modern computing. Just one of the endless backward-compatibility bits of cruft in Windows.
Edit: Come to think of it, I just remembered one other os that still uses drive letters: Symbian.

Edited 2010-04-20 18:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Radio
by Radio on Tue 20th Apr 2010 11:26 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

What is TextFAT? Isn't it "exFAT" instead?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Radio
by Finchwizard on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by Radio"
Finchwizard Member since:
2006-02-01

I was thinking the same thing.

I've heard of ExFAT, never TextFAT

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Radio
by gedmurphy on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Radio"
gedmurphy Member since:
2005-12-23

There are a few strange things in the article.

Another is the 'user space' and 'kernel space' monikers. You very rarely hear this in the Windows world, they're unix terms.

Microsoft uses user mode and kernel mode. I've never seen the 'space' word used in official MS documents.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Radio
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Radio"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Microsoft uses user mode and kernel mode. I've never seen the 'space' word used in official MS documents.


I prefer to use those terms. They make more sense than "mode" in my eyes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Radio
by gedmurphy on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 07:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Radio"
gedmurphy Member since:
2005-12-23

I don't know about unix but the term 'space' makes no sense in the world of NT.

The best I can come up with are the virtual address spaces, OS and process. But the kernel has access to the process address space anyway so it's not really unique.

The processor runs 2 modes. The restricted mode being user mode and the unrestricted mode being kernel mode. Also known as ring 3 and ring 0.
This is the reason for these terms in windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Radio
by Elv13 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by Radio"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Yea, it is ExFAT. It is not the only inaccurate detail.

-FAT32 can cover more than 4gb, with LBA on, it can do a good job even on 320gb drives.
-The file size limit is 4gb, not storage limit
-The file count limit is 4 billion
-The minimal file size is drivesize in bit * (1/4 billion)

Other wise, the only other real limitations of FAT is the lack of security and file system automatic recovery.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Radio
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Radio"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's not exFAT - it's actually texFAT, where the "t" stands for transactional.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transaction-Safe_FAT_File_System

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Radio
by Tuishimi on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Radio"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Did you just go type that into Wikipedia, Thom? ;)

Kidding of course.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Radio
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Radio"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Fair though but still, isn't it about time MS put FAT to bed already.
Even with the additional transaction features (which don't even apply to files copied from Windows, as the Wikipedia article suggests: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transaction-Safe_FAT_File_System#Limit... ), texFAT is still behind many other file systems optimised and/or created specifically with this kind of media in mind.

When so many advances have been made to portable devices and storage solutions over the many years - it's such a shame to see that we're still crippling our hardware with a 30+ year old file system.

I mean, if backwards compatibility was really that big of an issue (heaven forbid you include a file system driver CD with the phone instead of that woeful ActiveSync crapware) then why not push "pocketNTFS" (or whatever) with Win7 installs and XP/Vista service packs.

Sometimes I really do think Microsoft have a deep-seated phobia with pushing new technology and decommissioning the old.

Sorry for the rant, but I really do wish FAT would die already.

Edited 2010-04-20 16:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Radio
by Elv13 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Radio"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

On top of that, FAT is not really a good fit for SSD and Flash memory, it does not do any aging block relocation or moving "static in time" files to the most used blocks, so they can rest for a while.

By the way, just to put my original comment in context, the original file system was TextFAT, the article was edited.

Edited 2010-04-20 19:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Radio
by boldingd on Tue 20th Apr 2010 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Radio"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Well, I would say that "crippled" is a bit of an over-statement. It's not like FAT partitions slowly erode the boundary between this world and the Warp by their very existence. I'd be pretty surprised if, say, either the I/O rates or the file-system longevity was more than ten-percent difference between texFAT and a file-system specifically designed for flash media.

And I've had enough fun trying to share volumes (either hard-disk partitions, USB drives or stand-alone devices that mount as hard-drives) between Linux and Windows, without having to worry about handling some new, obscure, MS-authored and not-well-supported-in-Linux file-system thrown into the mix.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Radio
by Laurence on Wed 21st Apr 2010 06:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Radio"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Well, I would say that "crippled" is a bit of an over-statement. It's not like FAT partitions slowly erode the boundary between this world and the Warp by their very existence. I'd be pretty surprised if, say, either the I/O rates or the file-system longevity was more than ten-percent difference between texFAT and a file-system specifically designed for flash media.

If the rest of IT lived by the "why bother getting the most out of our hardware", we'd still be entering BASIC instructions into our PCs to operate it.

The question should be "why SHOULDN'T we/MS be using more advanced file systems when we know that FAT is severely out-dated?"


And I've had enough fun trying to share volumes (either hard-disk partitions, USB drives or stand-alone devices that mount as hard-drives) between Linux and Windows, without having to worry about handling some new, obscure, MS-authored and not-well-supported-in-Linux file-system thrown into the mix.

But that's exactly what texFAT is. It's an MS file system that not even the Windows 7 supports.

The moment you copy across a file from Windows NT to Windows Phone you'll lose all the extended features of texFAT on those files. This is quite a serious short coming when you think about how much data is likely copied directly from PCs rather than downloaded (eg music, movies, firmware upgrades(!) and so on).

So when not even Microsoft's own desktops properly support this file system, it leaves you wondering what the whole point is.

To me, it would have made more sense to have a small partition on the phones firmware that had drivers for (and at the very least) Windows to support their flash fs (whether they choose to create a propitiatory one or utilise one of the numerous others out there).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Radio
by Karitku on Wed 21st Apr 2010 07:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Radio"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

But that's exactly what texFAT is. It's an MS file system that not even the Windows 7 supports. The moment you copy across a file from Windows NT to Windows Phone you'll lose all the extended features of texFAT on those files. This is quite a serious short coming when you think about how much data is likely copied directly from PCs rather than downloaded (eg music, movies, firmware upgrades(!) and so on). So when not even Microsoft's own desktops properly support this file system, it leaves you wondering what the whole point is. To me, it would have made more sense to have a small partition on the phones firmware that had drivers for (and at the very least) Windows to support their flash fs (whether they choose to create a propitiatory one or utilise one of the numerous others out there).

Okey, firstly you can't access filesystem on WP7 phones, NEVER! All content you move to WP7 is synced, not copied! It makes sense on security point and makes piracy much harder. I fail to see what NTFS information you would need on files at phone, access controls???

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Radio
by Laurence on Wed 21st Apr 2010 09:06 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Radio"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Okey, firstly you can't access filesystem on WP7 phones, NEVER! All content you move to WP7 is synced, not copied! It makes sense on security point and makes piracy much harder.

And we all know how well ActiveSync worked out in Windows Mobile.


I fail to see what NTFS information you would need on files at phone, access controls???

How about journaling (i know texFAT has some architecture there, but not anything as sophisticated) and compression?

But more importantly, what's wrong with JFFS and YAFFS? MS don't even need to port NTFS as YAFFS is already available for Windows CE and is purpose built for flash memory.

However why use existing technology when you can reinvent the wheel - badly.

Reply Score: 2

Too little too late
by cjwood on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:25 UTC
cjwood
Member since:
2010-04-20

I wonder if all of this from Microsoft is a too little too late with all of the other offerings available today.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Too little too late
by Tuishimi on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:55 UTC in reply to "Too little too late"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think they are.

I think they have a shot, simply because of who they are, to infiltrate the market. If the phones are any good, they will pick up on their own once they manage to fall into a few peoples' hands.

That's not a given. Good products have fallen by the wayside many times over the years. But I think if they really have changed for the better (marketing and actually getting products out there) they have a decent chance to take a chunk of the market.

Reply Score: 2

distinguish local/mc FS
by l3v1 on Tue 20th Apr 2010 16:46 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

applications and/or users can not distinguish between files in local storage or on a memory card. While this increases simplicity, it also means that crucial files may be stored on a memory card - removing said card will cause the phone to be restricted to making emergency calls only.


Well, if this is true, I'd have to say this could be one of the worst decisions any phone OS maker has ever made. This not only sounds stupid, it sounds idiotic. The very idea of allowing memory cards is for the user to be able to switch these cards around. Otherwise why allow a MC at all, just use internal storage and be done with it. The only other reason would be to allow a lower price for the phone with small internal storage and let the user buy a MC for expanding that storage [only once] but then also comes the problem of MC end-of-life: should the MC fail, you'll be doomed to end up with a practically unusable phone.

Reply Score: 2

RE: distinguish local/mc FS
by Karitku on Wed 21st Apr 2010 07:34 UTC in reply to "distinguish local/mc FS"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

"applications and/or users can not distinguish between files in local storage or on a memory card. While this increases simplicity, it also means that crucial files may be stored on a memory card - removing said card will cause the phone to be restricted to making emergency calls only.
Well, if this is true, I'd have to say this could be one of the worst decisions any phone OS maker has ever made. This not only sounds stupid, it sounds idiotic. The very idea of allowing memory cards is for the user to be able to switch these cards around. Otherwise why allow a MC at all, just use internal storage and be done with it. The only other reason would be to allow a lower price for the phone with small internal storage and let the user buy a MC for expanding that storage [only once] but then also comes the problem of MC end-of-life: should the MC fail, you'll be doomed to end up with a practically unusable phone. "
Yeah explains why iPhone is so unpopular. Newsflash only geeks change mem cards. I give you fine example on mem cards, I have Nokia phone with ring tone on mem card but sometimes it rings with default tone, why because the freaking mem card isn't connected all time because slot is shit!!

Your last argument is plainly wrong, if mem card is broken it can be repaired, nothing says you need to solder mems on phone just that user can't access them. So go repair, takes 5 minutes to replace SD card behind some warranty trap, sync data from cloud, keep taking booty pics.

Let me give you list of problems with mem cards:
Lousy connectors(Nokia example).
Shitty performance, not all cards are fast, user experience ruined.
Ever seen 50 year old man construction worker install microSD card? It's not even comical it's just sad.
Cloud service means you don't need the freaking mem so much!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: distinguish local/mc FS
by Laurence on Thu 22nd Apr 2010 10:08 UTC in reply to "RE: distinguish local/mc FS"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Yeah explains why iPhone is so unpopular.

Did you actually read his post?

He didn't say the iPhone was unpopular nor that internal storage wasn't a good idea.
He only stated the whole point of a removable storage is that you can remove it. If you effectively brick your handset but removing said storage, then the whole purpose behind that specific type of storage becomes idiotic as internal storage would have been cleaner - both aesthetically (no redundant sockets) and functionally (one example being that there's no chance of the card pinging out accidentally if the phone is dropped).

Newsflash only geeks change mem cards


I know plenty of non-geeks that whip out the memory card to transfer data to and from PCs as it's quicker than using sync software and (if you have SD sockets on your computer which many people do) it's often less hassle than digging out a data cable.

Granted the vast majority of time we're just talking about copying a few MP3s (to use a ring tones and wake up alarms) and pictures they've taken from the built in camera, but the fact remains that removable storage isn't just the realm of us geeks.

In fact, talking about pictures, my computer novice girlfriend was swapping around SD cards before I was as she owned a digital camera. She coped with that fine. To her it was just like using really small floppy disks.

So while you're right that most people wont remove their memory cards often - don't be so quick to assume that it won't get used at all by non-techies.

Reply Score: 2