Earlier this week, reports emerged surrounding an odd limitation recently discovered on Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform. Though interpretations varied, the gist was that Windows Phone 7 handset can only have 15 apps using push notifications at any given time. There was a bit of confusion surrounding the reports, however — does the limitation involve Live Tiles as well as toast notifications? Does it restrict app installations? Is this limitation being misinterpreted? Does it really only apply to simultaneous API calls?

Microsoft cleared the air on Tuesday when WPF Technical Evangelist Jaime Rodriguez published the company’s official response on a Microsoft blog. Rodriguez confirmed that the limitation is real, writing, “Yes, the limit is fifteen third party applications can be concurrently subscribed  to receive push notifications (whether that is a live tile or toast).” He went on to clarify that OEM apps like Outlook and People Hub do not count toward the limit. Rodriguez also stated that the limit does not refer to installed apps, but only to apps that have push notifications or Live Tiles enabled and are subscribed to notification channels.

Rodriguez says Windows Phone 7 was designed this way to accomodate “typical users.” While developers and other power users might have a tendency to install more apps, Microsoft had to take things like battery life, quality of service and bandwidth cost into account. Heavy users can rest assured, however, that the current limitation is not set in stone. Rodriguez states that the “limit will increase as we get right data on how people use push, impact, etc.”


Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.