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Microsoft locks down SD cards on Windows 7 phones

windows-phone-7-device-logoPC Mag reports that within the support documentation for Samsung Focus, Microsoft is locking flash cards to the phone. This will prevent users from swapping out microSD cards to use in other devices.

As Samsung mentions on the support page, “Once inserted and properly formatted, the memory card becomes an inseparable part of the phone.” The document continues, “A microSD card inserted into a Windows Phone 7 device and integrated into the device’s file system is intended to be a permanent modification to the device. Once a microSD card has been integrated into a Windows Phone 7 device’s file system, it will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on.”

This seems like an incredibly unusual decision on the part of Microsoft. SD cards have traditionally been swappable between devices. Even after PC Mag wrangled a quote from Microsoft to explain the decision, we are still left wondering. “Windows Phone 7 does not support swapping microSD cards in and out. SD cards inserted into a Windows Phone 7 device are integrated into the device’s file system and are intended to be a permanent modification to the device,” the company said. “Once an SD card has been integrated into a Windows Phone 7 device’s file system, it will no longer be readable or writable on any other device. This behavior is by design and is intended to ensure a consistently high-quality and secure end-user experience.”

Microsoft is taking a new approach to designing mobile phone software with the Window 7 release. It’s taken to heart that many people feel like that spend too much time with their phone and would like a more integrated approach. Perhaps this is part of that philosophy.