While in a recent Twitter Q&A, Microsoft UK's Director of the UK Mobile Business Group Alex Reeve hinted that "ODMs are free to offer Windows Phone 7 Series upgrades for Windows Mobile 6 smartphones", Natasha Kwan, General Manager for Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business in the Asia-Pacific region, told APC that the HD2 - the hottest candidate for such an upgrade - "doesn't qualify because it doesn't have the three buttons". Despite the HD2 might meet many of the required "Chassis 1" specs, APC mentioned that the phone will be ruled out of an upgrade for the simple reason that it has five buttons instead of the three mandatory Windows Phone 7 Series buttons.
"Because we have very specific requirements for Windows Phone 7 Series the current phones we have right now will not be upgradable", Kwan explained. Furthermore, Tony Wilkinson, Business Operations Director for Microsoft Australia, told APC that "there are some hardware components that the HD2" doesn't have".
As you might remember, I've mentioned it in my previous posting that I had my doubts that any of today's Windows Mobile 6.5 phones meet the Windows Phone 7 Series requirements since Microsoft has specified pretty strict rules what a Windows Phone 7 smartphone has to feature - or not! Beside that it needs a 5 megapixel camera and a 3.5 mm stereo headset, Microsoft also takes care about the button layout. According to our information, Microsoft requires the Start, back and search keys in addition to a dedicated camera button, volume up/down rocker and the power button. Furthermore Microsoft told us at the recent Mobile World Congress, that it's not accepting call send/end keys but this actions will be performed through the touchscreen (similar to the latest Android smartphones which are nevertheless free to use dedicated call send/end keys).
Now, if we take the HTC HD2 as an example, if features the Start and back keys but not the search key. Furthermore it hasn't have a dedicated camera key but two call send/end keys instead. Other required Windows Phone 7 Series specs, it might fail, are unknown yet.
Cheers ~ Arne