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  #1  
Old 10-19-2010, 05:29 AM
Jason Dunn
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Default Windows Phone 7 and Removable Storage

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://windowsphonesecrets.com/2010/10/12/windows-phone-7-and-removable-storage/' target='_blank'>http://windowsphonesecrets.com/2010...ovable-storage/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"So, there's been some confusion around Windows Phone 7 and its support of removable/expandable storage. As is so often the case, this confusion comes from Microsoft: The company told me specifically (and repeatedly) that the OS would not support this. But it sort of does. Here's how it works."</em></p><p>Here's the bottom line: if you really want a device with expandable storage, you should buy one with an exposed microSD card slot - but not all devices will have them. I don't understand why Microsoft didn't just make it part of the Chassis 1 specification; I think it would have been fine to have the cards be non-removable except as part of a hard reset. You buy the phone, you put in whatever size card you want, boot up the phone, and never touch the card again. Makes sense, no?</p>
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:59 AM
Twain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
I think it would have been fine to have the cards be non-removable except as part of a hard reset. You buy the phone, you put in whatever size card you want, boot up the phone, and never touch the card again. Makes sense, no?</p>
That makes no sense whatsoever. Maybe the problem is that there is a whole generation of buyers like me who bought phones with a slot that they could choose to optionally fill with whatever capacity memory card they desired. Now, with WP7, instead of me deciding that I want to carry around 16 MB of my own pictures, music, videos, whatever, Microsoft is going to decide that I only need to carry 8 MB. Oh and forget about when 32 MB or 64 MB cards hit the market and I want to migrate to a card with greater storage. I can't migrate without a hard reset of my phone. WTF???

Of course this all makes sense when you realize that Microsoft wants to put only a token sized memory card in every phone so that you'll have no choice but to place all of your personal data in "the cloud" where they can have access to a new revenue stream from the monthly payments you'll be forking over for storage you used to have on your own phone!
 
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:48 AM
benjimen
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This storage-gate is going to do nothing but detract from WP7. It's like they wanted to be fully iPhone-ish, but couldn't quite commit so they came up with this harebrained idea. From a consumer perspective, it's very odd -- some devices can be expanded, some can't -- those that can will be hard-reset when you put the card in, so you can't just put another one in if you've filled up storage with pictures or something. You can't copy media onto a card and put it in your device, if you have one of the devices that takes cards...

It's all in keeping with Microsoft's overall performance in the mobility marketplace
 
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:28 AM
Gerard
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One of the top few reasons NOT to get an iPhone, for myself at least, is the lack of a card slot. Ditto the iPad. And so naturally the same applies with WP7. Notwithstanding the social networking based marketing campaigns, which seem to indicate a device primarily designed for the blog/chatter crowd, the hardware specs actually aren't bad at all. But this confusing hit-and-miss, maybe you can hack it, maybe you can't sort of nonsense can only hurt market perception for the new gadgets.

Or maybe not? Considering that Apple mysteriously continues to positively ROB people of about $100 per memory-doubling from model to model, with buyers positively gleeful about the technological marvel being provided (just think, a whole 8GB extra memory for a mere $100!) when any idiot can find a 16GB microSD card for $49 at the local Best Buy, well, it seems the market is still ripe for the plucking. Go for it Microsoft. Apple has paved your road for you in this regard as well.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:35 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twain View Post
That makes no sense whatsoever. Maybe the problem is that there is a whole generation of buyers like me who bought phones with a slot that they could choose to optionally fill with whatever capacity memory card they desired....I can't migrate without a hard reset of my phone. WTF???
Hold on a second there.

We've known for a long time now that Microsoft wasn't allowing external storage cards, and for some people, that's a deal breaker. Fair enough. For me, and I suspect many others, once you put the memory card in the phone, you just leave it there. I have an 8 GB microSD card in my HD2 that I literally haven't touched since the day I put it in. So the thought of being able to do the same thing with Windows Phone 7 instead of having no secondary storage at all sounds quite excellent to me, even if it means a hard reset.

Would I prefer to have removable storage like we have now? Yes...but, and this is important, right now we don't have merged storage. As in, when you add a storage card to a WM 6.5 phone, the OS sees it is a separate pool of storage. With Windows Phone 7, it sees the storage as part of one big pool - which is way easier, and faster for it to use. And guess what? You can only get that if you have a card that the customer can't remove and completely screw up the whole OS. That's always been the problem with storage cards: clueless users take 'em out then wonder why things stop working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twain View Post
Of course this all makes sense when you realize that Microsoft wants to put only a token sized memory card in every phone so that you'll have no choice but to place all of your personal data in "the cloud" where they can have access to a new revenue stream from the monthly payments you'll be forking over for storage you used to have on your own phone!
Well that's kind of a strange tin-foil hat theory. Which cloud services that Microsoft is using for Windows Phone 7 are they charging for again?
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2010, 10:55 PM
Gerard
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While I appreciate that babysitting noobs is an important element in marketing a platform, it seems a bit odd to limit a device's usability in the name of said babysitting. One could attempt the same argument for SD slots on notebooks. In fact Apple does exactly this with their lower-priced notebooks (lower-priced being around $2,000 or less), eliminating the annoyance of an SD slot for those not 'professional' enough to handle them.

But I'd argue for a removable storage card for a couple of reasons. One has already been mentioned here - new, larger scale cards come out all the time, and it's annoying not being able to upgrade storage capacity to take advantage of same. If I could grab a 1TB SD card for my netbook for around $100 right now it wouldn't take even a second thought, it's a no-brainer that more onboard storage is a good thing.

The second reason is related to the historical un-reliability of synchronization with Microsoft. I gave up many years ago on transferring files back and forth between Windows Mobile devices and my PCs via Activesync. Failures to connect costing many hours of struggle with ports and firewalls and still usually ending in failures... corrupted files and/or storage media thanks to glitches in Activesync... then finally the outlawing of Wi-Fi Activesync for newer device OS versions... And of the 3 WM phones I've used (O2 XDA Atom, HTC Touch Elfin, and now HTC Kaiser), only the Elfin could be read predictably as an external USB drive. No matter what sort of software tricks I've tried or which brand of cables, the Kaiser simply will not maintain an un-corrupted connection to a PC as a USB drive. It worked now and then, for minutes at a time, then just didn't. Same for the old XDA Atom. And forget about even trying such things with older PDA type PPCs. So popping out the SD or now microSD card and using a card reader to transfer large files such as movies of folders full of music. I mean seriously, why have a big storage card (or built-in storage for that matter) if transferring files is going to depend on a buggy connection?

If Microsoft has indeed completely fixed file transfer between host PC and phone, great, I salute them. So far not a lot of focus seems to go to this question in discussions of WP7. Have they actually made a fool-proof protocol for fast, large file transfers? Can users be assured of corruption-free file movement between devices? If file transfers are to be done through the 'cloud' or similar off-site conduit, can users be assured of file security? It would take a lot of proof for most experienced in the vagaries of Activesync and the almost equally buggy device center software to become convinced that WP7 would not need removable storage for file copying.

If these phones are being billed as standalone, that's a whole different kettle of fish. If users are not to synch data at all, but rather to use cellular bandwidth to access it directly, then this leads to questions around data plan fees with the various carriers... and I can see Canadian users at least being rather upset if that were the case, considering how much most are expected to pay for cellular data here.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2010, 03:10 PM
Fritzly
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With reference to:

"We've known for a long time now that Microsoft wasn't allowing external storage cards, and for some people, that's a deal breaker."

The use of "some" seems a little bit optimistic to me, especially when Carriers will raise data fees thanks to these "all stored in the cloud" and now "All synced through the cloud only" mantras. And yes so far MS is not charging anything for the services but tomorrow?

As for:
"Would I prefer to have removable storage like we have now? Yes...but, and this is important, right now we don't have merged storage. As in, when you add a storage card to a WM 6.5 phone, the OS sees it is a separate pool of storage. With Windows Phone 7, it sees the storage as part of one big pool - which is way easier, and faster for it to use."

Respectable opinion but many people, me included, would disagree: one of the first golden rules I learned about computers was to always keep OS and programs separated form data.
All my computers are set in this way; C:\ OS and Programs, D:\Data, E:\OS Image and Data backup. Of course I also have backup on removable storage. Keep everything together is a perfect receipt for trouble.
Btw yes my n HD2 all the data stored in the SD card too.

Last edited by Fritzly; 10-20-2010 at 04:42 PM..
 
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2010, 05:20 PM
Gerard
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Btw yes my n HD2 all the data stored in the SD card too.
Ditto for me. I've not kept anything important besides PIM databases (no real choice there) in main memory of my phones/PDAs for many years. And thanks to PIMBackup and routine backups to the card, as well as regular cloning of card data to external hard drives via the netbook, no system failures on these devices have cost me anything significant in years. The thought all the information I want in my phone trapped in fallible device memory, subject to the whims and vagaries of Microsoft-sanctioned data transfer protocols, that's just scary.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:59 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritzly View Post
The use of "some" seems a little bit optimistic to me, especially when Carriers will raise data fees thanks to these "all stored in the cloud" and now "All synced through the cloud only" mantras. And yes so far MS is not charging anything for the services but tomorrow?
You, and several others, are talking as though desktop sync for media doesn't exist; as though you're expected to sync all your photos/music/videos via the cloud. That's not the case: you'll connect your WP7 phone to the Zune desktop software, and transfer music, videos, and photos back and forth. I can't think of anything media-wise that would need to go via the cloud.

PIM stuff - calender, contacts, email - is all cloud based now, yes, but compared to media synching PIM stuff is bandwidth light. I really don't understand the problem here.

And, based on discussions with Microsoft and a lot of other MVPs, the average smartphone owner rarely, if ever, takes the memory card out (and I count myself in that group). I think there's only a small % of users that would actively want to take the memory card in and out. Here in this forum, that % is much higher, so it seems like a bigger problem than it is. But, unfortunately for you guys, Microsoft has chosen to target this phone at the broader market.

Quote:
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...one of the first golden rules I learned about computers was to always keep OS and programs separated form data.
All my computers are set in this way; C:\ OS and Programs, D:\Data, E:\OS Image and Data backup. Of course I also have backup on removable storage. Keep everything together is a perfect receipt for trouble.
I used to the same thing back with Windows XP - but that was years ago. There's zero reason to continue with the same approach now - if you have a hard drive failure, all your careful partitioning is going to be moot. Data and OS isolation was the smart thing to do when your OS would become corrupted at the drop of a hat - Windows XP was great at that - but both Vista and Windows 7 are much more robust.

Anyway, this is getting rather off topic, but I think the reality is that some people don't like change, don't want to change, and will refuse to change their ways while the rest of the world moves on. I see that in this thread, but no one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to buy a WP7 phone.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:02 PM
Jason Dunn
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Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
The thought all the information I want in my phone trapped in fallible device memory, subject to the whims and vagaries of Microsoft-sanctioned data transfer protocols, that's just scary.
I know this won't make you any less grumpy - because that's what you enjoy - but in all the years of using the Zune software to transfer photos, music, and very large videos, I've never had a single corrupted photos, music or video file. I think there's much ado about nothing here.
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