Windows Phone 7 won’t let you swap SD cards [Update]

You won't be able to swap out your Windows Phone 7 SD cards
You won't be able to swap out your Windows Phone 7 SD cards

The details about the upcoming Microsoft Windows Phone 7 handsets are coming to light and now we’re hearing that you won’t be able swap your SD card to expand the memory.

We were actually surprised to see that the Samsung Focus had a memory card slot because it was assumed that the first batch of devices wouldn’t support these. Samsung has tweaked it so that the memory card slot is recognized as part of the internal memory but it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to augment that.

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

Windows Phone uses a special high–performance SD card that works differently than SD cards in other devices. When your phone is built and first set up, its internal storage and SD card are combined and recognized as one storage system.

You should not remove the SD card in your phone or replace it with a new one because your Windows Phone won’t work properly. Existing data on the phone may be lost, and that SD card can’t be used in other devices or Windows Phones.

Most of the handsets that will launch with Windows Phone 7 will come with at least 8 GB of internal storage or 16 GB of internal storage. Do you think that is enough?

Microsoft would counter those memory complaints with Windows Phone 7 by saying that it is such a strong cloud-centric device that you won’t necessarily need that much on-board storage. For example, the Windows Phone 7 devices will act like the Kin devices by automatically backing up your photos and videos.

As for media, these devices will also be able to utilize the Zune Pass for unlimited music streaming for a monthly fee.

Those are decent arguments but I would still like the option to throw in a 32 GB microSD card. How about you?

[Update] According to Paul Thurrot, who wrote a book on the Windows Phone 7 platform, you can add storage to your device but it will require a hard reset.

So, to put it accurately, Windows Phone does support expandable storage. But it does not support removable storage.

[Via Microsoft]

  • Anonymous

    And this is why Android is superior. I really don’t like when OSes try to tell me how to use my phone. The risk of losing data if a SD card is swapped reminds me of losing data in Windows due to a corrupted install. Ouch!

  • Narmer122

    Very good heads up, Marin. I’m still excited to try a WinPho7 phone, but this has me biting my lip and grimacing wth a little bit of unhappy. I guess it’ll just take hearing from others about how much this seems to effect their experience. I don’t like the idea that I’ll just have to limit the music I take and rely on Zune with fees, much less that scenario with video, the real memory hog. I mean, I realize that could be part of the point, to push the cloud utility and drive paid services (let’s face it subscription models make the numbers people all giddy), but I will just have to wait. I’m a little with Stefan on the early adopter issue: I’m past the point that I really have to be one of the first.

  • well of course not… that’s why Windows is rich! Compatibility required.

  • Gregory C Newman

    The Windows Phone 7 1st generation phones are what we have today. Microsoft has said that they will add features to this phone. they announced that cut and paste will be added in 2011. Microsoft will expand the OS of this phone to make do more things like using removable SD cards on the Windows phone 7- 2nd generation phones that will me made in the future. I guess the OS for these phones will be windows phone 7-OS-1.

  • Joe

    One word – Dumb

  • MrWindows

    At least WindowsPhone 7 allows you to upgrade the memory card. iPhone doesn’t even HAVE a memory card. You’re stuck.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not the same at all. Think of it as there being a 40gb or an 8gb model (or 24 or 16), without an sd card slot. Once you put the card in, the phone thinks it’s part of the native storage, so removing the card would cause you to lose potentially crucial data.

  • I would suggest that it is more safety-oriented. I do not want anyone to get off the phone storage and access to emails from their work than you.
    r4 card

  • Microsoft Windows phone 7 is amazing and just fantastic. I really likes it very much. Nice post with great information.

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