Windows Phone 7 and Removable Storage

Paul Thurrott:

Supported devices (not all Windows Phones will be expandable) will include a micro-SD card slot, which by Microsoft’s requirements must be placed under the battery cover (i.e. next to the actual battery) and not be externally accessible. That’s because this functionality isn’t designed to be something that is swapped out, used with a PC, or whatever. Instead, the micro-SD-based storage will work in tandem with whatever storage is available inside the device. So let’s say you get a device and it has 8 GB of storage internally plus an empty micro-SD slot. You could add a memory card (with 8 to 32 GB of storage) to dramatically expand the storage (to up to 40 GB).

What you can’t do is swap it out without hard resetting the device. That’s because the storage on the card and the internal storage is co-mingled, and the system makes no differentiation. There’s no way to know where something (an app, song, whatever) is stored, and if you do pop out the card, the phone will complain. And it won’t be readable on your PC, so you can’t use it to transfer content in either direction.

At first I thought this sounded like a mistake. Why allow it at all? But if you think about it, it actually does seem like a reasonable compromise. It’s something advanced users can diddle with when they first buy a device, but which regular consumers will never see or need to be concerned with.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010