Windows Phone 8 to drop Zune sync, will support USB mass storage

By on July 17, 2012, 3:30 PM

Windows Phone 8 will support USB mass storage, or the ability to plug a handset into a computer and transfer files seamlessly as you would with a flash drive via drag and drop. Additionally, the company is reportedly doing away with having to sync with Zune software and instead allowing direct synching with Windows.

Both of these tidbits are making the rounds as rumor today but according to WPCentral, Microsoft has pretty much confirmed both “rumors” earlier this year.

During the Windows Phone Summit last month, Windows Phone Program manager Joe Belfiore said they were introducing removable microSD support as a core part of the platform that spans both the PC and the phone. He said this will allow users to transfer content between their PC and smartphone or from phone to phone and it can even be used as a distribution vehicle for apps. I don’t know about you, but that sure sounds like USB mass storage to me.

WPCentral also points us to this post from February where a leaked video from Belfiore for Nokia eyes only reveals that Zune Desktop support will be done away with in exchange for a more native sync relationship. Again, it doesn’t get any more solid than coming from the product manager’s mouth.

Microsoft will no doubt win over some fans with these two moves. I’ve personally heard several users complain that they don’t like iOS because you have to sync everything through iTunes instead of simply dragging and dropping music or movies onto the phone and I can't help but agree that the restriction is very annoying.

User Comments: 13

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Guest said:

Every single thing that leaks about phone 8 is something I really really want in a phone :)

Laimis Laimis said:

Then I will wait till WP8 phones will hit the market and get one of those, possibly something similar to Lumia 800. Cuz that's not too pricey and has characteristics of a phone I could live with :)

Randomthom Randomthom said:

Currently using and loving the Lumia 800, had the HTC Trophy before that. Windows Phone 7 is good, 8 will be flippin' awesome

Honestly it's a shame that 7 didn't pick up more but hopefully 8 will change that. App development will accelerate due to the NT-based Kernel in 8. All good news so far

Jibberish18 said:

Currently using and loving the Lumia 800, had the HTC Trophy before that. Windows Phone 7 is good, 8 will be flippin' awesome

Honestly it's a shame that 7 didn't pick up more but hopefully 8 will change that. App development will accelerate due to the NT-based Kernel in 8. All good news so far

I'm wondering if and when hackers will get 8 to work on older gen Win7 phones. Possibly, yes or no?

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TechSpot, please revise your article. I am currently arguing with the editor-in-chief of WPCentral, trying to make him understand his article is completely flawed.

He really only paraphrased what was announced on the Summit. He used what Belfiore said on the Summit as a sort of confirmation USB Mass storage will come to WP8, when it wasn't announced. All that was announced was the SD Card support, and that WP8 will technically start acting as an SD adapter. In no way in the Summit it says there will be direct USB Mass storage for the phone's file system.

There rumor says just that. In fact, it goes even further to state it will work just like Symbian. After S60 V3, all Symbian devices supported native USB Mass storage, not MTP. He is using this article to claim MS already confirmed this in the Summit, when all that was explicitly said was that WP8 will now support SD cards, and that you will now be able to access that SD card's content through USB. Completely different from USB Mass storage mode.

His article is not a confirmation of the rumor, is a misinformed attempt to disprove the original source rumor.

The guy is a show-off, and uses the little bit of journalistic attention he gets to indirectly boast about how much of an "insider" he and/or his website is.

ess333 said:

finally ... usb mass storage

Guest said:

My old Nokia N-800 has USB mass storage... so wats the fuss?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't know about this specific article but I enjoy reading WPCentral - its the only dedicated Windows Phone Site I read regularly.

Gary Roberts Gary Roberts said:

Currently the only Windows Phone 7 with a SD slot for a SD card is Samsung's Focus. The Lumia 800 does not have a slot for a SD card. Sorry as good as the Lumia 800 and 900 are there is no SD slot for a card with either of those phones. The Sumsung Focus SD slot is only capable of increasing memory, not swaping files. My advice for anyone wanting SD file sync should wait for Nokia's Windows Phone 8. I have a Samsung Focus and I like it a lot, but I've tried the Lumia 900 and I like it better than I do my Samsung Focus.

Guest said:

As a Titan 11 owner/user running Windows 7.5 dropping

Zune is a smart move.

Upgrading to Windows 8 is not an option I'm told because

of again, necessary hardware compliance.

I hope the 7.8 upgrade promised in late October allows

for direct syncing to my desktop libraries and not just a

prettier UI.

Brilliant phone overall.

In 18 months Windows 8 should be out there on multiple

tablets, phablets & phones.

Some of the Nokia WP7 and HTC users probably feel

ripped off, for me the purchase/tech cycle is about right.

Guest said:

I don't know that app development will pick up because of the NT kernel. That might be true IF Microsoft allowed outside developers to use the Windows API, but they don't in Metro apps for Windows 8 (and Windows Phone 8). The version of the Framework that you have to use is a much smaller subset (though it has features not available in non-Metro apps). What this means is, developers won't be able to just re-use code that they've traditionally used in Windows apps (some code they will be able to, but most code is a re-write).

Guest said:

Buuuzzzz ,WP8 is out, and guess what? NO MASS STORAGE for you! Still stuck with that stupid Zune and can't even load any unknown file to my phone. rar,zip... And what the hell does syncing files even means??!! I don't want to sync my files, I just want to copy past or cut past, I don't care less about that synccing cr..p. Sure I found and walk around on the net (some hacker found a way to mess with the registry) but what's the point if your phone DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A FILE MANAGER. Skydrive you say? Why the hell should I renounce of my privacy to upload my camera pictures, films and job documents to a microsoft server? So 'em damn admins at ms would stare at my wife's parts? :) Give me a break, WP8 is a FAILURE. The only good things on that platform are not even provided by ms. I mean third party applications/softwares. Microsoft should stop trying to steal / force us to willingly renounce our privacy and freedom. I wonder if Big Bill G even knows about that?

Guest said:

Ok, an eternity has passed but now WP8 has materialized and I own a Nokia Lumia 820.

And as much as I hoped to have a good alternative to Android and iOS I must say:

it is a totally frustrating experience.

Even simple things do not work

- import and organization of music does not work well (Windows phone app for syncing iTunes

just crashes when I tried)

- no way to use podcasts. Even worse, Nokia is doing bad jokes (at least in germany),

The app says something like "Go to the store and select podcasts" and there are ... none, zero.

This p*ss* me totally

- I can use my SD card only "for media files". No way to store documents like pdfs

Bottom line (sorry to say): huge disappointment, epic fail.

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