After a brief discussion with some of the big shots in Windows Phone development on Twitter the other day, we came to the conclusion that the "7" and "7.5" in Windows Phone development is a bad way of making resources available to people, specially when the versions are going to grow over the years.

As everything is tagged today, but refers both to 7.0 and 7.5 (formerly known as 7.1, aka. Mango), this causes a bit of a problem.

My suggestion is to re-tag to , and make the other tag synonyms to the tag. This would future-proof the tagging.

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    The problem seems to be that we already have a windows-phone tag. The windows-phone-7 tag should be kept around and reserved for version-specific questions, just like all other version-specific tags (e.g., c#-3.0, .net-4.0, etc.). A mass retag or obliteration of the windows-phone-7 tag doesn't make sense, as there will inevitably be some version-specific questions that should have a version-specific tag. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 7:59
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    But the general tag is still [windows-phone-7]. The wiki, followers, and description are on the [windows-phone-7] tag, not the generalized one. Which encourages people to use the version-specific tag, even when it's wrong. But if that's changed, we could re-tag all questions where the API have changed to be version-specific, and all where the answer is still valid to be a general question. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:03
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    That's clearly a matter of interpretation. I disagree that windows-phone-7 is the "general" tag. If windows-phone does not have a tag wiki, then you should propose one. That's not a problem with the tag system. I don't understand why you think that the Windows Phone tags should follow a completely different pattern from all other software with version-specific tags. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:05
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    I agree. Version-specific tags as well as a more generic tag have their place for Windows Phone as much as they do for any other platform, although the period for which a version-specific tag will be relevant is much shorter (i.e. just during the transition from one version to the next). Once a version is released to consumers, it is unlikely that developers will need to ask more questions for the previous version. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:06
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    The problem is that the windows-phone-7 tag haven't been considered version-specific before about a month ago. Where as with .NET and C# you always known the versions was different. Windows Phone 7 was considered the official name by many, until Microsoft finally made it clear the name is Windows Phone. But I've updated the wiki for both tags now. But what you suggest is that we go on re-tagging general questions to the [windows-phone] category then? Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:08
  • Also for comparison: [windows-phone] have 44 followers. [windows-phone-7] have 1.2k. I think this illustrates the "problem". Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:10
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    @Derek: this is kind-of non-meta: But is there a reason why you assume that old versions will no longer be targeted? Are all devices guaranteed to be updated to the latest version eventually? Isn't it possible that some devices (and maybe even a significant portion of the market) will be stuck in some old version? (Kind-of how it's now with Android, unfortunately). Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 10:41
  • Yes, all devices are guaranteed to the latest version according to Microsoft. They been set out not to do the mistake that Android did. Not all devices may have same hardware features, but the phone OS will always be updated. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 10:52
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    So the proposed solution is that we start re-tagging all general questions to [windows-phone] and leave the device specific ones as [windows-phone-7] and [windows-phone-7.5] , yes? Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 10:57
  • @Joachim There's no guarantee that all users will upgrade to the latest version (though why is beyond me!), but developers will not produce apps for the "old" version once a new version comes out. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 10:58
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    @Derek: Maybe I should have rephrased this: Will all users have the chance to update to the latest version until the end of time? Or will some phone models and/or providers be locked out of the updates? Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 10:59
  • The current policy for Mango is all devices gets the chance to update. If Microsoft changes the policy in the future, noone can tell. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 11:00
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    @Joachim As far as I know and has been made public, all users will have the opportunity to update to the latest version and there will be no blocking by model or provider except for specific developer handsets provided for free by Microsoft to developers (e.g. the original Samsung Taylor). Obviously "until the end of time" is a long time and a lot can happen, but that's my understanding at the moment. Commented Aug 3, 2011 at 6:50

3 Answers 3


Your question/concern is also related to Windows Phone "codename Mango" and version numbers

For reference, "Windows Phone" was used as a term in some marketing and promotional material for devices running the Windows Mobile 6.X operating system.

From a marketing perspective "Windows Phone" is clearer than a generic, non-specific term ("mobile") that can be further confused by a variety of numbers. I suspect that was why it was used then. I also suspect that's why it's being considered for [re]use now. (To avoid confusion between 7 & 7.1|7.5.) Plus it wasn't widley used in relation to WM6.x.

Tagging is a folksonomy. If 1130 people say it should be one thing and 1 (or 44 - although I expect that most, if not all of them, follow both) say something else then the larger group win.

Tweets are generally less a lot permanent than questions on SO. The rules for tagging there don't necessarily apply here. The twitter hashtag change is a response to dealing with identifying 7 and 7.1|7.5 specific tags. The specific version isn't as important on Twitter and so it is appropriate there. If and when Windows Phone 8 is released I suspect we'll see #wp8dev tags at that point to distinguish there.

Windows Phone 7 IS the product name. The expectation is that the product will be publically rebranded "Windows Phone" (without the 7) when "codename mango" is officially released. At that point the OS will still be "Windows Phone 7.X" and the development tools/SDK will still be "Windows Phone 7.X".

The 7 in "Windows Phone 7" was never a version number it was part of the name. The version number was "7.0".

windows-phone was created as a generic tag and has historically been used as such. Although not much and has mostly been used in combination with the windows-phone-7 tag.
windows-phone-7 is generic to all minor versions of 7.x.
"windows-phone" is like a super generic tag. Especially when it's Windows Mobile heritage is considered.

It is WAY to early to make any assumptions about future version of Windows Phone [7] either major or minor. It's not realistic, therefore, to make assumptions about future proofing.

Retagging [general] questions so they are then tagged with a tag which is followed by many, many fewer people is likely to lead to those questions being less likely to be answered or answered well.

Mass retagging is not appropriate if a synonym is not also created. Without this people will continue to use what you deem to be the wrong tag. Unless someone can forever go and change these (and no one can) then we'll end up with the situation we now have with the 7.1 and 7.5 tags (see link above) where people continue to create questions which don't match the choice of the person with the motivation to go and manually reedit a load of tags.

There is no guarantee that devices running "Windows Phone 7" can be upgraded to any future version of "Windows Phone". The only guarantee I'm aware of having been made previously is that devices running "Windows Phone 7" will be able to be updated to future versions of "Windows Phone 7". There is no guarantee about future compatibility with "Windows Phone 8". I can no longer find a record of this anywhere but recall it from conversations held with staff at Microsoft when the platform was first launched.

  • create.msdn.com/en-us/education/basics/marketing -- The '7' been officially dropped now. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 20:30
  • Now we have 4 tags, with several questions being tagged only the sub-category, making them less visible to regulars. And I think time proved my point regarding the name. Either we change "7" to "7.0", or we merge "windows-phone" and "windows-phone-7". Also, the "7.5" tag should be removed. It doesn't make sense, at all, since every 7.5 tag would by definition, be off-topic. Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 15:57

With the update in the marketing guidelines, the "7" now officially been removed.

And is now the same as , so this matter is now obsolete.

  • I thought we'd learnt with all the who-haa around people wanting to retag all the 7.1/7.5/mango questions that it doesn't matter what you want people to use. People asking questions use tag names which match the names on the products/tools they are using. If you're really concerned about questions going unanswered I'd suggest looking at all the relevant tags together: stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/…
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 14:45
  • I still don't get why you support the idea of so many fragmented tags? There's no value to it at all. It only services fragmenting the questions, and the visibility of them, nothing else. Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 19:26
  • I don't support it, I just recognise this is the situation we're in and people are continuing to create questions with a variety of tags. Tags should be used to clarify and focus the area in question. IF a question is specific to the 7.1 tools then tagging it such shouldn't be a problem. It is, afterall possible to use multiple tags
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 8:56
  • I don't really think the version-specific tags adds any value at all. Most people asking questions right now, barely know there's different versions. And in a half year, 7.0 won't exist anymore, and nobody will write apps for it, as you can't support 7.0 apps after you upgraded to Mango on the AppHub. Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 13:13
  • Looks like the tag was remapped through votes now :-) Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 7:08
  • And now all the tag mappings been removed. Bloody stupid. Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 15:55

I take to mean the phone OS that shipped for many years that runs the compact .net framework. This has very little in common with Windows Phone 7, as the API and apps are not the same.

Microsoft created the problem by not valuing the work developers had done with windows-phone.

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    No, that's [windows-mobile]. [windows-phone] is the official name of Windows Phone (7, and 7.5 (Mango)) Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:20
  • @Claus, What's "official" does not change how poeple talk in eveyday life. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 8:57
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    @Ian: I admit that that's I'm not well-informed in this area (mobile Windows platforms), but I don't remember people referring to pre-Windows-Phone-7 mobile Windows platforms as "Windows Phone". Windows Mobile, Windows CE or even Pocket PC are the terms I used to hear/read. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 10:38
  • Agree with Joachim - "Windows Phone" came out of nowhere with the release of WP7. Before that it was WM, WCE, PPC, Compact Framework etc Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 13:20
  • @Kate, try asking a normal person what owns a windows-mobile with they have a "windows phone" and see what answer you get.. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 14:50
  • @Ian - I never met a non-developer with a Windows Mobile device unless they had been bulk-issued by their employer, and those people didn't use brand names for them. I never heard anyone call it a Windows phone. Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 15:06
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    @Ian: even if that's true: SO is not for "normal persons", it's for developers. So what is relevant is how developers call that platform. I also don't tag my Windows-related questions "Word" just because someone says "I've got a Word computer". Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 15:13
  • @Kate, they are still common in the UK, and yes a lot of people paid for there own. (Remember we had good mobile data speeds a lot sooner on this side of the Atlantic.) Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 22:28

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