the prognosis for wm 7

sfrrr

状元
Daniel--I'm jumping back to the middle of this thread, but I mean no disrespect to your previous post. It's very well argued and I'll probably reply soon.

Right now, I want to ask Mike whether he thinks the following quotr (from a MS press release, I believe) suggests a longer life for PD on WM?

Applications that were made for Windows Mobile 6 are compatible with Windows Phone 7 Series. The interface of the new mobile operating system has been changed though, so the user interface for these applications will have to be changed as well.
"So there is no reason why programs written for Windows Mobile 6 cannot run on the new version of the OS", said Maarten Sonneveld of Microsoft Netherlands to Tweakers.net. "The interface is complete different though, so the applications will have to be changed somewhat before being ready for Windows Phone 7 Series".
It is still unclear how developers can port their user interfaces to the new version of Windows Mobile. Microsoft will only disclose how applications can be developed and distributed at their developer event Mix2010.
Microsoft announced it’s new OS on Monday afternoon at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The OS is primarily aimed at synchronisation and integration with Microsft-services like Windows Live, Bing, Zune and Xbox Live. Aside from those Windows Phone 7 Series can also synchronise with Google-accounts and facebook.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
The important thing about online is that it would not be our only product, at least not for a long time; instead of offering native versions of Pleco on two platforms, which has been our policy until now, we'd be offering a native version on one platform an and online version that covered all the others.

Basically, we're looking at a situation where we're about to be dependent on Apple and iPhone for essentially all of our income; mfcb's comments notwithstanding, even if we did start charging for updates on WM it's unlikely they'd register as more than a blip. That's a rather risky place to be - Apple could reject our next update, they could institute some sort of iTunes policy or OS design change that would severely impact our sales, or they could just release a ho-hum update this summer and start bleeding customers; either way, it's not such a good idea to be putting all of our eggs in one basket.

So the question, then, is this: if WM is in fact going away, what would be a logical choice for our new "fallback platform." This is basically a three-way race between an Android version, a full-featured (not just "companion") desktop version, or an online product. (desktop version supporters, please note the "full-featured" in there; there's a big difference between porting our entire product to desktops, which I've never come anywhere close to promising we'll do, and releasing some sort of desktop companion app that allows for easier flashcard / user dictionary / etc editing)

Android has the advantage of seamlessly fitting in with our existing business - we'd continue to be the dominant Chinese dictionary on the only two mobile platforms with serious third-party app markets - but it's the riskiest of the three thanks to the spectre of platform / app store fragmentation, and it's also the most labor-intensive option thanks to the need to rewrite everything in Java.

A full-featured desktop version would be the least work programming-wise - our WM code would port over quite happily to desktop Windows, and our iPhone code to desktop Mac OS - and we don't need to worry about desktop software going OS-vendor-approved-only anytime soon (at least I sure hope not), but I'm still not convinced that this would do much more than provide another thing for our existing customers to buy. Does anybody really want a desktop Chinese dictionary anymore? Can we offer enough of an advantage over free dictionaries (and websites) to justify buying our standalone desktop product?

A web-based version is certainly risky too - selling ads isn't likely to cover the costs of licensing decent content, so we'd need to rely on some sort of subscription system, and subscription websites are a dicey proposition in general. But it would work everywhere, mobiles and desktops, it would be relatively future-proof, make all sorts of exciting new features possible, and likely still be less work than an Android port - we could start off supporting nothing but (various flavors of) WebKit if we wanted to, users of every mobile or desktop platform not made by Microsoft already have WebKit-based browsers built in to their OSes and Windows users can easily download Google Chrome or Safari. (indeed, many probably already got the latter when they installed iTunes) Firefox support could come later, and IE support possibly at some farther-off future date. Plus, expansion-wise it's a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to hire web programmers than it is to hire Android (or commercial-quality desktop) ones. And of course an online version would be accessible to basically everyone with a PC or a smartphone (or even "feature phone"), so the market dwarfs anything else we might be able to go after.

character - subscription fees may not be a better deal for heavy users, but they are a better deal for lighter users - people who aren't even sure how committed they are to studying Chinese - and for people who only study Chinese intermittently, summer students and such. And given the difficulty licensing-wise of offering a decent trial version, they're much better for people who aren't sure about buying Pleco too. Heavy users are probably only going to be happy with a native app anyway, at least for a while, and long-term, subscription revenues might allow us to do some cool new things like, say, hiring a full-time dictionary editor and continuously adding / revising entries, example sentences, etc.

But as I said above, this wouldn't be our only version, just our second version - I don't foresee a point coming anytime soon where we can abandon native development and go online-only, and indeed if something bad did happen to our iPhone version we'd probably start in immediately on a port to Android or some other OS, but as long as iPhone's going strong there's a lot to be said for doing an online version instead of rolling out a second mobile platform, particularly given the need for a Java rewrite to support Android.

I disagree with you that online searches are necessarily going to be a lot slower, though - assuming we distributed servers in a couple of different geographic regions (so users in both China and the US had decent latency) the thing could be pretty darn fast most of the time.

ipsi - that's logical, yes - universities feed Java to tech companies and they feed it back to universities.

In the US at least, net neutrality is mostly focused on bandwidth rather than latency - one giant media / telecom conglomerate wants to be able to downgrade the quality of content from another giant media / telecom conglomerate traveling across their network - so since latency would be the main limiting factor for Pleco Online, I'm not all that worried about it. Bandwidth's the main thing that taxes networks anyway; one can make a case to regulators and even the public that limiting bandwidth use serves the public good by making sure there's enough for everyone (especially with wireless networks), but slowing down individual packets unless you pay a toll is just plain vindictive. Certainly something to keep an eye on, though.

character again - interesting analysis; I suppose some of my Java hatred may come from a) being so comfortable in a low-level / native code environment, and b) having spent several orders of magnitude less time with it than with C. I still don't quite see the virtue of it on mobiles, though, particularly since the whole justification for having offline mobile software is speed / latency and Java still seems destined to lag behind native code in that regard in the near term at least.

mfcb - remember, we're looking beyond the next 1-2 years here; if we only develop for the next 1-2 years then we may be doomed to continue chasing new mobile platforms as we've been doing so far, but if we get established online we can continue adding new features / upgrades to that largely uninterrupted; all sorts of wonderful new things become possible once we don't have to spend all our time porting them to Splashy New Mobile Platform 2011.

Writing online software may be a nightmare if you insist on total compatibility and on embracing every new technology, but we really can build around WebKit, tweak for Firefox / Opera, and politely offer IE users a page full of links to download those other free browsers; we're finally at a point where one can realistically release a major new website that doesn't support IE6, and that alone lops off a whole lot of development time. There are a ton of excellent frameworks now to solve a lot of the tricky UI issues, and most of the complicated stuff Pleco does happens on the backend anyway (where we can write in whatever language we want since it's running on our computer and not yours); a nice clean little AJAX UI (with <canvas> tags for drawing-intensive like handwriting recognition / stroke order) would really be enough for our purposes, there's no need to fiddle around with Java / Flash / Silverlight / AIR / Ruby (remember Ruby?) etc.

I'm glad you've found a happy medium with WM, and at least for cross-platform engine improvements you should continue to see upgrades for a while (I hope you enjoy 2.0.8!), but I don't see how we can realistically depend on it much for our future revenues, so as above we're left with a choice between Android, non-companion desktop, and online, all of which are major new projects by any definition.

sfrrr - see my last comment in http://plecoforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2173&p=16458#p16458 - unfortunately it seems like that article has subsequently been updated to downplay the compatibility level. Programs already written for .NET can all be adapted for Silverlight, I suppose, but Pleco's a straight-up native C app, so adapting it for Silverlight (if that is in fact the framework for WP7 apps) would pretty much require a total rewrite.
 

character

状元
mikelove said:
The important thing about online is that it would not be our only product, at least not for a long time [...]
Promises, promises. :wink:

Basically, we're looking at a situation where we're about to be dependent on Apple and iPhone for essentially all of our income [...]
That's a good point; I'd certainly not thought about your dilemma in that light.

So the question, then, is this: if WM is in fact going away, what would be a logical choice for our new "fallback platform." This is basically a three-way race between an Android version, a full-featured (not just "companion") desktop version, or an online product.
I'll mention this just to be annoying: if you rewrote your backend in Java, you could use it in all three places: on Android, on the desktop (perhaps using Java Web Start or in something like Eclipse RCP), and online (either standalone or in something like Tomcat).

Android has the advantage of seamlessly fitting in with our existing business - we'd continue to be the dominant Chinese dictionary on the only two mobile platforms with serious third-party app markets - but it's the riskiest of the three thanks to the spectre of platform / app store fragmentation [...]
Right now developers trying to reach the broadest audience are targeting Android 1.5. I think the 'everyone wants their own app store' issue will be resolved by cooler heads over the next year or two. A Google app store, with profit/information sharing for phone companies, will probably win out.

I disagree with you that online searches are necessarily going to be a lot slower, though - assuming we distributed servers in a couple of different geographic regions (so users in both China and the US had decent latency) the thing could be pretty darn fast most of the time.
Have you done much web browsing on EDGE, esp. in a moving vehicle? :) I do wonder about the speed of handwriting recognition suggestions and results. I guess we'll find out if you go down that route.

I still don't quite see the virtue of it on mobiles, though, particularly since the whole justification for having offline mobile software is speed / latency and Java still seems destined to lag behind native code in that regard in the near term at least.
This year's phones (the Nexus One and others) seem to have reduced that difference to something not worth worrying about. So assuming your Android port wouldn't come out until late this year at the earliest, I don't think there's a real problem.
 

ldolse

状元
1 vote for full featured desktop here (as long as it still synchronizes/backs up the work from my phone, which is critical). I'd happily pay for something on the desktop. I would have paid for Wenlin a long time ago if they didn't live in the dinosaur age in terms of purchasing it. I'd LOVE to have something that had the functionality of KingSoft's Powerword that was aimed at English speakers instead of Chinese people, and would happily throw down money for it. I don't find the freeware apps to be that great, will sometimes use Chinese Pera-kun or Google translate, but am more likely to copy/paste into Wenlin. Note I've already made purchases in the past for PowerWord and some other poor Chinese sourced materials.

I agree with the other detractors on the online version - the whole system isn't quite ready for that. Take the Chinesepod app for instance - I think the functionality of the little app is awesome with it's sentence database, but the fact that it only works when it has an internet connection means it's essentially worthless to me and I never use it.

It looks like based off that press release that Windows Mobile 6 apps will work on 7, so things may actually be alright on the WinMo front, but the devil is in the details.
 

Alexis

状元
Could we not have an offline "online" version? ie. Pleco interface that is driven through a web browser, but all files are still stored locally on the device? Perhaps not full-featured, but a suitable alternative for those that don't own whatever the current dominant-platform is. Those who really want the full-featured one can go for the fully-supported platform version.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
character - our existing C backend would already work just fine on desktops and websites, so that's not really an argument for Java; Java lets us support Android and that's about the only thing it has going for it at the moment. But given how long development would take I don't think we'd target anything less than Android 2.0, or maybe even 3.0 - just isn't worth the extra hassle. (indeed, we'd probably design around Snapdragon and accept the possibility of so-so performance on anything slower)

The Android app store problem could easily go the wrong way; look at how Verizon consistently mangles the user interfaces of their phones, for example. Trusting in the goodwill / good faith / common sense of large mobile operators is not a very smart way to run a software business. And unlike Apple, Google has absolutely no means of guaranteeing that all Android phones will support Android Market, since they've given up that level of control by going open-source; they can withhold the Google trademark license from phones that don't support Android Market, but they'll still be Android phones. And indeed the existence of the Nexus One may make that Google trademark less important to other Android device makers.

Of course the app store itself isn't much of a problem as long as there's sideloading, but that seems almost guaranteed to go away soon - even Microsoft is reportedly making everything approved-app-only in WP7, carriers will start requiring everything to be signed for nebulous "security reasons" and next thing we know we'll be stuck giving AT&T a 50% cut of our sales.

So there's the basic issue with Android - even if they wanted to (and it's not necessarily that important to them as long as these new phones still use their search engine / Gmail / etc), Google is in absolutely no position to guarantee that we won't have to jump through a lot of hoops and pay outrageous commissions to get our apps onto many / most future Android phones. Whereas if you believe some reports, Apple's insistence on app store compatibility actually contributed to their not making a deal with China Mobile - they're willing to stand up for iTunes even if it costs them money and market share, and they have the legal ability to make sure every iPhone OS device sold follows their rules.

ldolse - the original interview has now been corrected to say that WM6 apps only *might* be able *to be adapted to work* with WP7, so this unfortunately seems like it'll turn out to be the same as that brief flurry over China Mobile announcing their Android phones would support Windows Mobile APIs (really just referring to ActiveSync, or at least that's the consensus now).

And we're still not talking about a native app replacement with online, we're talking about a separate product - something that people who own non-Pleco-compatible Android / BlackBerry / etc phones can use. But a complete desktop app is certainly also a possibility, it's just a matter of figuring out if there's a market for it beyond people who are already Pleco fans, and if many / most of those Pleco fans would actually buy it again or if most of them would expect / demand a free (or discounted-to-a-point-where-all-the-money-we-get-goes-to-pay-royalties) version. Still, it seems like even if it were insufficient for mobile users, an online version of Pleco could fit the bill nicely for desktop users; in fact, having it online would make things like database synchronization considerably easier and more reliable than in a desktop-based app.

Alexis - an offline web-based app is another option we've considered; it'd be a particularly nice solution on Android since we could keep everything in C and just bring up one big WebKit control on startup. Of course it wouldn't be nearly as slick as a native Android app, but once we'd gone to the trouble of coming up with a design / JavaScript code / etc for an online version of Pleco anyway, assuming the backend ran in something portable like C it would be pretty easy to stick that web-based Pleco into an offline app. But it would be very slow compared to a native app, and at whatever point Android does start to get a bunch of mediocre-but-competent free or low-cost Chinese dictionaries we might not come off so well compared to those. For desktops I don't know that there'd be much advantage to doing an offline versus an online web-browser-based app given that desktops are pretty much always online anyway.

benzhen - "sensitive" entries? 4 of our 8 current dictionaries are from China-based publishers, and the ABC is sold there in what looks to be an unmodified form (though maybe someone can clarify if anything actually has changed in the Chinese edition). And I've never come across anything particularly controversial in C&T or Tuttle either - seems to me like we could offer all of our dictionaries in China pretty much unmodified. Certainly worth thinking about Chinese internet regulations, but I don't think they'd be likely to raise many issues with Pleco.
 

character

状元
mikelove said:
character - our existing C backend would already work just fine on desktops and websites, so that's not really an argument for Java [...]
If you create an Eclipse RCP app using Java, the same backend/gui codebase would produce apps for Windows/Mac/Linux; sorry if I wasn't clear.
 

goulniky

榜眼
You're at a point where you need to make hard strategic decisions, and while these are largely dependent on technology, I don't think this should be dictating your choices. Your positioning in the market, target audience and competition should.

The least I would do if I were you is assess where your existing, loyal target audience is prepared to follow you, as well as growth opportunities. I don't know the extent to which this forum is representative, but you should certainly be able to survey all of your users individually and present different scenarios to them.

You started with Palm, took on WM, dropped Palm and went iPhone, now likely will drop WM though no one knows what the uptake of WM7 would be in your target group. Of course no one knows which of the new platforms will survive, much less shine, but it looks like you can't be all things to all people.

Development times can be long, but rash decisions can also go very wrong. If I'm not mistaken, the subscription option you're now considering for a web version was discussed here a long time ago, and you didn't think it was a sustainable business model for Pleco then. I do agree now, and combined with connectivity and possible performance issues, I think it's a very risky proposition.

The demand for Pleco iPhone seemed high, I assume the uptake has been good. As was pointed out, an iPod can play the same role as a cheap Palm in previous versions of Pleco, dedicated, second-hand even. Putting all your eggs in one basket is a legitimate concern, but starting with Palm only didn't stop you getting where you are now.

Better get an even greater product on fewer platforms. With the desktop version, you're going into something different, a companion is one thing, a full-blown version is another product. I would of course love to get beyond Wenlin, or get it move forward, but it does exist and runs on both Mac and Windows. Chinese (and Japanese) Pera-kun do a decent job on Firefox, not the best dictionary of course, NJstar is a bit dated but provides other functionality, etc. This looks like a mine-field to me.

And personally, went from Palm to WM when it became available and I wanted Pleco on my phone. I will keep my WM6 hires device for as long as I can - if I had to change now, as much as I hate Apple's control model and predatory marketing, I would go iPhone to get the best Pleco experience. 12-18 months down the road, I would see whether Android (by then Oestroid?) delivered on its promises, and go for the best device.

I went to Japan recently, not the worst country in the world in terms of internet access, I had my WM6 phone with full connectivity and no real concern for cost. There a few great online, free dictionary resources for Japanese, but boy did I miss a Japanese version of Pleco, fast, powerful and always available. To me and I guess lots of other customers, that's what Pleco stands for and that's what you'll probably be loosing if you go web-only, let alone competing with free online resources.

Time to go back to fundamentals maybe?
 

gato

状元
All that needs to be said probably has already been said. Just want to second goulniky above that making iPhone/iPod as good as it can be on the iPhone/iPod seem to make the most sense in terms of cost/benefit analysis.
 

Sarevok

进士
Well, as much as I love Pleco, it is still a crutch... and I hope that I will be able to walk without one eventually. Switching to another platform would mean quite a sacrifice for me - if it was just about Pleco, then I would probably go for some iProduct, grinding my teeth and spitting curses everywhere while doing so. But I'll be sacrificing some other handy apps, which are available only for WM as of now... I hope that my Omnia will serve me faithfully for as long as my old iPAQ did, and I can put off my decision until it dies. I hope that the worst case scenarios won't be coming true by then...
 

Pampuk

秀才
Bonjour,

Long time didnt write with my broken english on this forum.

But I dont understand the iSomething hate.

I have used pleco on two palm pda and a palm phone. Then, i used 2 WM phones.

I have stop using WM and Pleco for more than a year and switch to Iphone.

Now I use Pleco on Iphone and I must say that it is, by far, the best versio
I ever used : faster, easier to install (don't have to worry about chinese input, sd card..), and easier to upgrade.

And I dont understand why some people scream and cry about using an iMachine.

whats wrong with it ? after more than 10 years, I finally have a portable machine that I can really use plainly : I can surf, I can read my rss (I use Byline at least 2 hours a day), I can install new software directly from my machine without fear to see my machine crash (I've got more than 400 dictionaries, games, utilities installed and I don't fear about having to reinstall all of them in case of a crash or a system urgrade).

Maybe I miss a point, but I don't understand the complain of some. if you want freedom to install whatever you want, just use 10 minutes to jailbreak it and you have your "freedom" back. but you will miss the pleasure to check for software upgrade everyday and discover what programmers offer you to make the software you allready bought better : this feeling is really great (including for Pleco upgrade).

Maybe Android or WM7 will be great, but for sometimes (including for the Ipad I plan to buy and for the Iphone OS4), I dont any good reason ro switch.

So, my point of view is that you should continue make rhe Iphone OS cleaner, easier to use (including for the configuration !), more complete (yes, include more dictionary (english-english, english-french or any language (it will help a lot when I dont understand an english definition), include course with Mp3 connected to sentences i
a kind of reader, some games...).

And spending time cleaning the code and the interface will make it only easier to switch to another platform, if this day should come
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
character - true, though there are a number of open-source C/C++ frameworks that would allow for similarly easy cross-platform UI development, GTK+ and Qt being the two biggest ones. Qt would also leave open the possibility of an easy port to Maemo (and the new MeeGo) in the future, and I suppose also Symbian, and there's even a project underway attempting to port Qt to Android. (I don't know why Google didn't build something based on one of those frameworks for the official Android UI, actually)Then again, since Windows Mobile UI code is pretty much interchangeable with desktop Windows code, for a desktop Windows version at least it would be considerably easier to just port that over directly, hopefully also managing to run that same code in Linux with Wine.

goulniky - thanks for the thoughtful comments on this. If it weren't for the eggs-in-one-basket problem, my natural inclination would indeed be to avoid launching any major new platform projects in the near future.

We've got three couple-of-months type projects we can start on after we finish iPhone flashcards: an iPad-optimized version, a major iPhone upgrade (mostly focused on UI refinements, though perhaps with a few big new features like notes, frequency sorting, and/or a better text segmentation algorithm for the document reader), and a quick-and-dirty desktop "preview version." Between them those could probably eat up most of the rest of 2010, but the worry would be that something might happen in iPhone land in the meantime that would put the continued success of our iPhone product in jeopardy.

The biggest argument against an online version actually relates to your last statement: online software isn't what Pleco is good at, or known for. Much of what our software has been celebrated for over the years has had to do with pushing the limits of a particular OS; fast searches, Chinese display support on non-Chinese systems, fullscreen handwriting / seamless document reading on iPhone, etc. Even on Android it gets a lot harder to differentiate ourselves that way - you can only do so much when you're trapped in a JVM - and with a web-based app it would be almost impossible; AJAX coolness may have been cutting-edge a few years ago, but now everybody's got live search results / local data caching / glowing buttons / etc.

Offline software may disappear in the long term, but by then companies a lot bigger than us may already be in the online Chinese dictionary space - Google added Pinyin annotations to Google Translate while barely blinking an eye, I could easily see them adding seamless mouseover word lookups to Google Docs at some point too. Of course that prospect also argues against doing a full, non-companion desktop version, since even if we're not developing an online dictionary, other companies' online dictionaries are only going to keep getting better, and we'll have less and less to contribute with an offline desktop version beyond what one can get for free online from Google or MDBG or Adso or whoever.

Anyway, no reason to make any decision on this right away - heck, Microsoft could still surprise us in March by announcing WM7 will actually be fully backwards-compatible with WM6.5, though that prospect seems very unlikely sadly.

Sarevok - some of those handy apps may eventually make it over to iPhone once Apple adds proper multitasking support; that may be the single biggest thing keeping iPhone from being a perfect WM replacement right now.

Pampuk - thanks for weighing in on the pro-iPhone side; I too love my iPhone, and any future Pleco roadmap would also involve a large portion of our time being spent continuing to improve our iPhone software. The odds of Pleco for iPhone being displaced as our "flagship product" anytime soon are slim to none, and while largely ignoring WM in favor of iPhone for the last ~8 months is probably going to turn out to have been a smart decision, ignoring iPhone in favor of Sexy Smartphone OS 2010 seems much less likely to work out well for us.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Per this article (found via Gizmodo), it looks like there won't be any upgrades to WM7 for older devices, not even the HD2. Which on the plus side means that we won't have to tell anyone that that new firmware update makes their phone incompatible with Pleco, but unfortunately also means that current WM hardware is effectively at a dead end upgrade-wise. (though I suppose it's conceivable that the intrepid WM firmware hackers might find a way to work around this)
 

mfcb

状元
hmmm, anyway i wouldn't want wm7 on my touch pro... haha
the question is more like: can i have wm6.5.5 on any of the new devices....
 
mikelove said:
Alexis - an offline web-based app is another option we've considered; it'd be a particularly nice solution on Android since we could keep everything in C and just bring up one big WebKit control on startup. Of course it wouldn't be nearly as slick as a native Android app, but once we'd gone to the trouble of coming up with a design / JavaScript code / etc for an online version of Pleco anyway, assuming the backend ran in something portable like C it would be pretty easy to stick that web-based Pleco into an offline app.
I find this very compelling actually. I just got finished posting over at spb asking them to add webkit to their SPB Mobile Shell product to make it a development platform. MS5 will be on Symbian, Android and old Winmo, mostly as a UI replacement. I'm sick of companies breaking compatibility and screwing with the applications I want, and I think web standards stored offline, not completely unlike what WebOS does (though my preference would be actually using the standards, not just basing a language off them), are a great solution for people like me who have a lot of niche needs and wants and want to retain more control over their platform than modern mobile companies seem to want to allow.
 

Shadowdh

状元
I have to be honest but if wm7 rumours are true (and they prob arent) and there is no multitasking or backwards compatability (how stupid for ms as I believe that will effectively kill them vis a vis iphoney) then I will not be upgrading to 7... I love Pleco and it just keeps getting better thanks to all the hard work but Mike and the gang at Pleco but I really really hate apple and the iplanet... irrational - totally... stupid - possibly... but I love my hd2 and even when wm6.x becomes an old "obsolete dinosaur" I know it will still work... it will do me as my old tytn II still works, and of course my X1... with that in mind I would look really really hard at any change in device at my next upgrade time... (about 10 months)... with regards to os and functionality...
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
WM7 still looks pretty darn cool, though, and unlike Palm Microsoft has the money / partnerships to potentially push an exciting new mobile OS to a wider audience. And just because the first release of WM7 doesn't support multitasking, that doesn't necessarily mean that the next one won't. I doubt we'll be rushing to support it in any case, but I could easily see a situation in early 2011 where a version of Pleco for WM7 looks like a better idea than one for Android, particularly if WM7 turns out to be as easily hackable as WM6.5 has been and people are merrily installing custom ROMs / third-party multitasking systems / non-MS-approved apps / etc. (heck, in that case even the current WM version of Pleco might work on them)
 
Just one thing I'd like to clear up for those who might not know --

Multitasking doesn't mean having more than one app open at the same time, multitasking means having more than one app actively running and using the CPU at one time.

Media services on WP7 multitask.
Upload and download services also do.

But why does Pleco need to do this? It just needs to task switch and if it freezes while in the background and then reanimates as soon as it's called forward again, how is that bad?

Rob
 
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