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Windows Phone 7 fries memory cards, AT&T says

Samsung focus Before the lineup of phones with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system debuted, there was much speculation over whether the new offerings would support memory cards. When the phones hit shelves last week, it turned out that at least one model, the Samsung Focus, had memory card support (unlike Apple iPhones).

But the option could inspire more nightmares than joy, given that the Samsung phone appears to fry any card not "certified for the Windows Phone 7," according to AT&T, one of the carriers of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. The only problem? No such cards exist, at least so far.

In a statement, AT&T advised Samsung Focus customers to "delay purchasing an external microSD card until the cards identified as 'Certified for Windows Phone 7' are available commercially or in AT&T stores."

The platform is apparently quite choosy and, in essence, permanently modifies the card so "it will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on," according to Samsung. The company also said that Focus customers could experience a "performance degradation" or "device instability" from the use of an "unauthorized" card.

Microsoft is banking on the Windows Phone 7 launch to recapture ground in the smartphone market lost to Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's Blackberry and phones running on Google's Android operating system.

Samsung and Microsoft were not immediately available for comment.

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-- Shan Li

Photo: Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7. Credit: Samsung

 
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