In my opinion, one of the smartest decisions that Microsoft has made with regard to Windows Phone 7 is that it has required device manufacturers to adhere to hardware specifications that should allow the devices to run some nice applications.
Here is a partial list of the minimum hardware that manufacturers are required to provide:
- A Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU
- A programmable GPU capable of supporting DirectX 3D graphics
- 256 MB of memory (minimum)
- 8 GB of flash memory (minimum)
- A 4-point multitouch capacitive screen with 800 x 480 resolution and 16 bit color depth
- 802.11 B/G support (some devices also support 802.11n)
- A 5megapixel still camera
- A video camera function that uses VGA as a minimum resolution
- An Accelerometer
- A compass
- Proximity and light sensors
And the list goes on.
So what does the future hold for Windows Phone 7 apps? Unfortunately I don't have a crystal ball, so I don't really know.
Microsoft seems to finally be taking mobile apps seriously, and I think that it is doing everything necessary to become a contender in the mobile app market space.
Even so, Microsoft is a bit late to the party, so it will be interesting to see if it can effectively compete against the iPhone and the Droid phones.