Will all Xbox games work on Windows Phone 7 devices?

Will all Xbox games work on Windows Phone 7 devices?

Summary: I got a couple of answers (and many "Wait until Mix 2010" non-answers) from Casey McGee, Microsoft Senior Marketing Manager, to my long list of questions about Microsoft's just-unveiled Windows Phone 7 platform.


I got  a couple of answers (and many "Wait until Mix 2010" non-answers) from Casey McGee, Microsoft Senior Marketing Manager, to my long list of questions about Microsoft's just-unveiled Windows Phone 7 platform.

Windows Phone 7 series phones are due out before the end of 2010 from a variety of Microsoft partners, Microsoft officials confirmed today during a press event at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. Microsoft officials are saving the details about the development story around the platform for its Mix 2010 conference in Las Vegas in mid-March. Which version of IE is WP7 running? "It doesn't map cleanly to any version number." It sounds like something between IE 7 and IE 8. Right now, WM 6.x phones running an IE 6 variant (that isn't the same as IE 6 on the PC)

Will WP7 devices be able to run Windows 6.x applications? Wait until Mix 2010 for more on that, McGee said. (I'm betting the answer is no -- at least not without a lot of work.)

Can phone makers change the default search engine to something other than Bing in Windows Phone 7 handsets? No. The button on the front of phones is a Bing button. Users who want something else will have to use the browser to access a different search engine. Will Zune HD apps run on WP7 devices? No comment for now. Also no comment from McGee as to whether Windows Phone 7 apps will be able to run on Zune HD devices.

Will existing Xbox games run on Windows Phone 7s? "A select number of games will be available." Microsoft isn't saying at this point which ones will be on that list.

Are Windows Phone 7s able to multitask? McGee and other Microsoft execs note that during the demo at MWC, Microsoft execs showed music playing while performing another function. But McGee wouldn't say whether only Microsoft services that are part of the "hubs" will be able to do this, or whether third-party apps also will be able to multitask.

How is Microsoft going to change the "Dorado" Zune software to support Windows Phone 7s running Zune music/video? No comment. Wait until Mix 2010 for more on that, McGee said. He also declined to say whether and when Dorado software would run on Macs.

What happens to My Phone, Microsoft's backup/restore service announced for Windows Mobile 6.x phones last year? No comment for now. Sounds like another topic for Mix.

Will Microsoft make the Zune music/video service available outside the U.S.? Yes, McGee said. "It will be available in all countries where Windows 7 Phones will ship." Microsoft is not yet disclosing that list of countries.

Update (February 16): McGee e-mailed me with a point of clarification to his comment: "It’s the playback experience on the phone and the use of the Zune PC software that we announced yesterday as available in all the regions that Windows Phone 7 Series ships in. We are not yet discussing additional Zune services."

What is the OS underlying Windows Phone 7 devices? The operating system running these devices is now officially known as Windows Phone OS 7.0. McGee was not allowed to talk about whether Windows CE is still at its core, or which version of CE it was.

What's with the word "Series" attached to the Windows Phone 7 name? "Series" refers to phones running any version of Windows Phone OS 7.x, McGee said.

Topics: Mobility, Browser, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • too much M$ news

    after Apple's iHype, M$ windoze mobiles comes second for BS and first for vaporware.
    This is my objective ranking.
    Linux Geek
    • Not too much news. This is a huge turning point for MS and everybody wants

      to hear the analysis. This is a bet the farm moment
      for mobile phone OSes for Microsoft. If this flops,
      it is game over.
    • Then turn of Teh Interweb if you don't want to see what most others do

      If you really only want to live in your minuscule little Linux world, then you should not be going to websites that cater to the rest of the world.
      • In terms of smart phone operating systems, Linux is not minuscule at all.

        The one with no excitement and losing Market share
        is Windows Mobile :(
        • Then why would Motorola scrapped

          moblin for Android. I know android is powered by Linux, but still that is
          a corporate entity massaged product for profit by selling services, of
          course not the OS.
          Ram U
          • Motorola just decided to use a different distribution of Linux, one that

            was made specifically for phones. Motorola decided
            it was not worth it to try to go their own way, with
            their own app store, doing all of the final UI
            design on their own, integration of the phone stack,

            In any case, Motorola went with Linux.
          • they scrapped it because

            they are not a software company. So could not bring ground breaking
            user experience. See they struggled to get iTunes and iPod on one of
            their failed phones. It took a while for them to realize. If Windows Phone
            seems compelling I surely hope Motorola will realize they made big
            mistake dropping Microsoft, and will definitely go sign up for
            partnership. It is all in the game, aka, business.
            Ram U
      • Nah

        I don't think he knows much about Linux either. If he is strong in Linux,
        he would not see fault in Microsoft even for a death of an ant, which
        happened to be crawling on his chair while he was resting his b--t there.
        Ram U
    • You...objective? An a$$hole maybe...but NOT objective. (nt)

      • Come on, he was just giving his opinion. Yes, misguided opinion, but,

        just explain why he is wrong.
        • Explaining to him or to every freetard in here is like talking to tree...

          Like you for instance. It's like talking to a six year old...LOL...
    • another nail in the b--t of L G.

      Ram U
  • RE: Will all Xbox games work on Windows Phone 7 devices?

    "What happens to My Phone, Microsoft?s backup/restore service announced for Windows Mobile 6.x phones last year? No comment for now. Sounds like another topic for Mix."

    Remember, 2 major topics during MIX 2010: Windows Phone 7 Series and the next generation Windows Live (the one with the "Devices" tab). Hmm...
  • So, is MS going to enforce via contract that OEMs can NOT launch any other

    search engine via the "search" button? It would certainly be
    very easy to implement the option to switch the default search
    engine launched with the hardware button.

    But, MS willing to hold their Windows Phone software hostage
    to promote Bing is very interesting.
    • Maybe not...

      ...so easy to implement a replacement if the API's aren't available and there's limited customization options for it. Unfortunately, we'll just have to wait and see what's announced at MIX.

      That said, I have been using Bing more and more over the past several months, and I am starting to like it more as I use it.
      • Re Bing

        Many of the core UXP features will require integration with Bing (e.g. automatic address recognition & conversion to links).

        And, frankly, this is Microsoft's phone. They are free to choose which search engine they offer. They don't own a monopoly on phone OS' and so don't need to beholden to EU or other anti-competitive crusaders.

        Don't like using Bing, choose a different phone.
        • Well, that is the point. MS is already way behind, so, it is really

          interesting that they are willing to sacrifice
          market share to promote Bing.

          And, YES, you are 100% right here that there are no
          legal problems here. It IS Microsoft's phone OS, it
          is NOT a monopoly, and they can do what they please.
          • I don't understand your statement:

            "they are willing to sacrifice market share to promote Bing"

            Are you suggesting that Microsoft will lose market share by promoting Bing? I don't understand your rationale as to why that should be.

            I can't imagine anyone saying "I love EVERYTHING about <insert name of phone here> but I can't use <insert name of search engine> so I am going to use <insert name of other phone>".

            People adopted Google because it was far better than AltaVista/Ask/Yahoo/MSN search.

            However, Bing is AT LEAST on-par with Google on the vast majority of searches and in some cases and to some people is better. Anyone who choses one phone over another just because they claim to not like one search engine over another is making a choice for irrational/religious reasons. Those people aren't Microsoft's target customer anyhow.

            The VAST majority of people who choose WinPhone7 over other phones will be chosing those devices because of an number of other factors: UI feel, wide and deep integration of social networking, Zune music, XBox Games, etc. Which browser they'll get to use by default won't bother most people.
      • Well, it would be rather easy for the OEM making the phone, so, it would

        have to be prohibited by contract.

        But, the most interesting part, is that MS is
        willing to take chances with the success of Windows
        mobile by allowing ONLY Bing to launch from the
        hardware button. Is Bing worth it?
        • Donnie boy ive asked you several times to leave

          You offer nothing and leave nothing but drivel. Now go back to the hole you call home.