More WP7 Drama with microSD Cards

The microSD card debacle concerning Windows Phone 7 devices keeps getting weirder and weirder. I’ve previously reported that most WP7 devices have hidden, internal microSD card slots that actually function as their internal storage. The cards are removable and swappable for a higher capacity one, but WP7 rewrites them so that they can only be used with the device.

According to Microsoft in an email to eWeek, “Windows Phone 7 does not support swapping microSD cards in and out…cards inserted into a Windows Phone 7 device are integrated into the device’s file system and are intended to be a permanent modification to the device.” Right. So what does that exactly mean? Microsoft further clarified and said that once you put your own microSD card into a WP7 smartphone, the card is rewritten and locked down. Why though? “This behavior is by design and is intended to ensure a consistently high-quality and secure end-user experience.” Hmm, sounds like some standard Microsoft rhetoric to me.

Microsoft is apparently working on certifying specific microSD cards as ‘Certified for Windows Phone 7’ and will then sell them itself, through carriers and other outlets. I’m not quite sure what is going to make these certified WP7 microSD cards any different than what you can get at your local Wal-Mart, but do expect them to cost more than one at your local Wal-Mart.

(To be honest, Microsoft and Co. probably just want to make sure that the cards you buy for your WP7 device has a high random access speed, something particularly important in actual hard drive specs but not taken into account by microSD card ratings which measure overall transfer speeds).

With so many WP7 devices having these hidden microSD card slots and future WP7 devices expected to have ones actually designed to be removed, is anyone a little worried about what is going on here? microSD is supposed to mean swappable storage on the go for cheap. If Microsoft can pull off this nonsense with WP7, expect more of our favorite standards to get butchered in the future. Yes, you bought a Bluetooth headset for your iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5 supports Bluetooth, but you need an Apple Bluetooth headset to work. If someone told me that, I’d have to slowly count to ten and then leave before my nerd-rage could manifest itself.

C’mon guys, we just want stuff that is widely compatible and plays nice. Reformatting our microSD cards so that they are WP7 only isn’t friendly and it isn’t good business.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments.

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