Windows Phone 7 Gets a Spec Boost

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The next generation of Windows Phone 7 handsets will have to run a little bit faster, per Microsoft’s orders.

Microsoft has confirmed new minimum specs for Windows Phones. The tech jargon version: Qualcomm’s second-gen MSM8x55 or MSM7x30 Snapdragon processors will replace the MSM8x50 chips found in current handsets, and Adreno 205 graphics will replace the Adreno 200. In English, that means future Windows Phone 7 devices will get a minimum boost in performance on par with HTC’s Thunderbolt or Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play Android devices.

Phone makers also have the option of including a gyroscope, which would allow for more accurate motion control in video games.

Nice as these spec boosts may seem, it’s discouraging not to see a front-facing camera among the requirements. To date, no Windows Phones have them, and they’re not supported in the software. Android and the iPhone both have front-facing camera support, so Windows Phone 7 has fallen behind. It’d also be nice to see Windows Phone 7 start supporting dual-core processors, but I wouldn’t expect that to be a minimum requirement for future devices.

More important for Microsoft is improving the software. Copy and paste is rolling out for some phones now, after problems with an earlier update gummed up the whole process. Multitasking, HTML5 support and Twitter integration won’t arrive until the fall.

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