Windows Phone 7’s Multitasking Alternative: Tombstoning
Windows Phone 7 handsets are all equipped with powerful 1 GHz processors, so the prospect of them being able to handle multitasking at some point in the future is certainly a possibility. In fact some level of multitasking occurs; the phone will ring when you’re listening to music, and you can also browse the web. Indeed, if Windows Phone 7 was incapable of multitasking, it wouldn’t be able to check for emails.
The type of multitasking that some users are missing is the ability to run a game, browser and MP3 player all at the same time, while making sporadic phonecalls. However, experience with other platforms will illustrate that this only slows down a phone, regardless of whether it is a top end Android or an iPhone 4.
In place of multitasking, Windows Phone 7 features tombstoning, a method by which the application is frozen until you return to it. This works better in some cases than others – if you tap Start or Back while in the middle of typing notes in OneNote, returning to the app will bounce you down to the line of text you were on. However, it is less than perfect in Internet Explorer, where the web history is unavailable via the back button once you return to the browser.