Maybe we're a little biased, but we think blogs are great- especially when they allow big corporations to disseminate information and serve as a communications channel for interacting with customers. Such is the case with the Windows Mobile Team Blog, where Microsoft veteran Mike Calligaro answers a question that's crossed everyone's mind at one time or another: Why did big M choose to support 240 x 240 resolutions for mobile screens, when rival Palm was making devices with 320 x 320 displays? Calligaro explains that when Microsoft was looking for a resolution to support that would improve upon QVGA screens, the next logical step was of course VGA. But since they wanted the OS to also support QWERTY-based devices with square screens, they could either choose to lop off pixels from QVGA and VGA versions of the code, or go with the non-standard resolution of 320 x 320 (which Palm had naturally used to improve upon their old 160 x 160 devices). Ultimately Microsoft chose the 240 x 240 route (which we're starting to see on devices now), along with 480 x 480 support (which will start to appear on future handsets) for backwards compatibility purposes: it's easier to scale QVGA apps to look right on VGA screens than it is to scale back and forth with native 320 x 320 apps/screens. So there you have it- apparently we've been comparing apples and oranges all along, or in this case hi-res versus lo-res smartphones.

Today in Engadget Mobile: February 16, 2006