Is There App Multitasking in Windows Phone 7? (Hint: It's a Lot Like the iPhone)

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Multitasking's been a bugaboo for the iPhone since like forever, which Droid and the Pre have gleefully exploited. But what about Windows Phone 7? Well, it sounds like it multitasks in the same sense that the iPhone does.

We asked Joe Belfiore, the director of Windows Phone, what's up with multitasking, and here's what he told us:

"The core operating system is a modern multitasking operating system. If you play music for example, the music will play back as you navigate around the experience...if you're using email, we have great support for push email and that happens in the background.

For third party applications—we'll get into a lot more detail on this in MIX—but we have a few ways we're going to make sure that third parties can bring their value to the user even when the app is not running. Live tiles are an example. Data feeds in the hubs are another example for some apps."


That sounds to us a lot like how the iPhone multitasks. That is, select processes, like push email, the browser and music can run in the background, but it seems like third-party multitasking in the same sense as Android isn't part of the program. (Of course, Microsoft could blow us all away at MIX next month with insane multitasking of the running-sixteen-apps-at-a-time sort, but the caginess here is telling.)

Still, the compromise in WP7 sounds like a happier compromise, at any rate: Piping data into its hubs and live tiles, where you can see info from multiple apps, could work really well, since you're able to get the data marrow out without cracking the bone. That is, you might not need the kind of multitasking people typically ask for with this kind of interface, as Jesus explains here. We'll see. [Windows Phone 7 @ Giz]