Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 smart phones won’t be reverse compatible


Microsoft Corp. said this week that its new line of smart phones slated for launch in 2010 won’t run programs from older Windows-based devices.

“For us, the cost of going from good to great is a clean break from the past,” Charlie Kindel, a Microsoft executive who works on the mobile platform, wrote in a blog post Thursday.

That break means thousands of applications designed for older Microsoft phones will not work on the new generation of devices, dubbed the Windows Phone 7 series.


Apple Inc.’s iPhone, iPod Touch and upcoming iPad tablet computer all run applications from the company’s online App Store, which is home to nearly 150,000 programs designed by developers around the world. Google Inc.’s phones run apps from the Android Market, which holds nearly 20,000 programs.

For its new series of phones -- to be released in the fall -- Microsoft has emphasized its distinct approach to design, perhaps to set it apart from its popular competitors.

But that means Microsoft will have to start from the beginning in the increasingly intense race for dominance in mobile applications.

“Different often means change,” Kindel wrote.

He pointed out that Microsoft would still work with developers whose software works with the older mobile operating systems, such as Windows Mobile 6.5.