Windows Phone 7 Missing Major Features, Says Report

Dennis Faas's picture

Reports from Germany suggest the upcoming Windows Phone 7 system won't support either Adobe Flash or HTML 5. That would severely limit many potential applications and leave some online video inaccessible.

Microsoft's Frank Penge made the revelations during a press conference in Hamburg. He said there are no concrete plans to support HTML 5 at any time, while Flash support will only appear once Adobe produces a suitable version of the software. It's unclear when the latter will be ready.  (Source:

Flash is a multimedia system that can be used for a variety of interactive tools, though it's best known for integration with video sites like YouTube. HTML 5 is the next major revision of the standards used to display website content in a way compatible with the widest possible range of browser set-ups. One of its key developments is the ability for browsers to play video directly without needing additional plug-ins such as the Flash player.

Win7 Phones to run Hybrid of Internet Explorer

Having neither feature available at the Windows Phone 7 launch would likely be particularly embarrassing for Microsoft given that Apple is frequently criticized for the absence of Flash support on its mobile devices.

The lack of HTML 5 support will be disappointing to many but isn't necessarily a major surprise. When it comes to desktop computers, Microsoft isn't planning to give full support to HTML 5 until the release of Internet Explorer 9 sometime next year. Windows Phone 7 handsets will run a special browser which is a hybrid of Internet Explorer versions 7 and 8.

Bing Translator Highlights Initial Apps

Microsoft has also unveiled some of its initial applications for Windows Phone 7. The most prominent is Bing Translator, which will allow users to type in a phrase in their own language, then have the phone "speak" the phrase in another language. To make this work as efficiently as possible, the company plans to store a basic dictionary on the phone for quick access, with more complex phrases translated through an online connection. (Source:

As part of its efforts to attract the attention of app developers, Microsoft plans to make the code behind some of its free apps publicly available. This should make it easier for developers to use the these apps as a framework for more complicated tools.

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