Microsoft's first major Windows Phone 7 upgrade - which is code-named Mango - is not just about new and improved OS features and services as well as new developer tools, but as it looks today, Mango is also bringing enhanced Windows Phone 7 hardware specs. So far, Microsoft has one chassis-spec which means that all Windows Phone 7 devices are quite similar, only differentiating in terms of the used camera (while 5 megapixel is the minimum) and display technology (LCD, S-LCD, AMOLED, S-AMOLED). However, all of today's Windows Phones are running the same MSM8x55 Qualcomm CPU but at yesterday's MIX11 presentation, Microsoft's Istvan Cseri unveiled a couple of hardware changes and updates!
First of all, with Mango, Microsoft will also allow the use of the new Qualcomm 7x30 in addition to today's only allowed and used Qualcomm MSM8x55! ARMv7 CPU.
Also new and different to last year's MIX10 announcements is that Microsoft has taken away the support of a second display resolution which was 320x480 HVGA but now, 480x800 WVGA is the only allowed Windows Phone 7 screen resolution. Last but not least, Microsoft has added a new sensor to its Windows Phone 7 chassis specs: gyroscope. So far, manufacturers were only allowed and forced to use a-GPS, accelerometer, digital compass, light and proximity sensors. But in his presentation, Cseri mentioned that the gyroscope is optional and not mandatory, like all the other mentioned sensors.
All together, these spec-updates, especially the support for Qualcomm's latest CPUs, were overdue and they can't come early enough. Nevertheless, hopefully this won't break the expected upgrade path for today's Windows Phone 7 devices which are coming with the older Qualcomm CPU and for sure without a gyroscope.
Cheers ~ Arne