BARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 15, 2010 — Today at Mobile World Congress 2010, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the next generation of Windows® Phones,

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series

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wp7 startscreenBARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 15, 2010 — Today at Mobile World Congress 2010, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the next generation of Windows® Phones, Windows Phone 7 Series. With this new platform, Microsoft offers a fresh approach to phone software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface the content people care about from the Web and applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone, exclusively on Windows Phone 7 Series. Partners have already started building phones; customers will be able to purchase the first phones in stores by holiday 2010.

“Today, I’m proud to introduce Windows Phone 7 Series, the next generation of Windows Phones,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “In a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things, I challenged the team to deliver a different kind of mobile experience. Windows Phone 7 Series marks a turning point toward phones that truly reflect the speed of people’s lives and their need to connect to other people and all kinds of seamless experiences.”

Designed for Life in Motion
With Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft takes a fundamentally different approach to phone software. Smart design begins with a new, holistic design system that informs every aspect of the phone, from its visually appealing layout and motion to its function and hardware integration. On the Start screen, dynamically updated “live tiles” show users real-time content directly, breaking the mold of static icons that serve as an intermediate step on the way to an application. Create a tile of a friend, and the user gains a readable, up-to-date view of a friend’s latest pictures and posts, just by glancing at Start.

Every Windows Phone 7 Series phone will come with a dedicated hardware button for Bing, providing one-click access to search from anywhere on the phone, while a special implementation of Bing search provides intent-specific results, delivering the most relevant Web or local results, depending on the type of query.

Windows Phone 7 Series creates an unrivaled set of integrated experiences on a phone through Windows Phone hubs. Hubs bring together related content from the Web, applications and services into a single view to simplify common tasks. Windows Phone 7 Series includes six hubs built on specific themes reflecting activities that matter most to people:

People. This hub delivers an engaging social experience by bringing together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.

Pictures. This hub makes it easy to share pictures and video to a social network in one step. Windows Phone 7 Series also brings together a user’s photos by integrating with the Web and PC, making the phone the ideal place to view a person’s entire picture and video collection.

Games. This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, Achievements and gamer profile. With more than 23 million active members around the world, Xbox LIVE unlocks a world of friends, games and entertainment on Xbox 360, and now also on Windows Phone 7 Series.

Music + Video. This hub creates an incredible media experience that brings the best of Zune, including content from a user’s PC, online music services and even a built-in FM radio into one simple place that is all about music and video. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on a PC and share their media recommendations with like-minded music lovers. The playback experience is rich and easy to navigate, and immerses the listener in the content.

Marketplace. This hub allows the user to easily discover and load the phone with certified applications and games.

Office. This hub brings the familiar experience of the world’s leading productivity software to the Windows Phone. With access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents. With the additional power of Outlook Mobile, users stay productive and up to date while on the go.

Availability
Partners from around the world have committed to include Windows Phone 7 Series in their portfolio plans. They include mobile operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc. The first phones will be available by holiday 2010. Customers who would like to receive additional information about Windows Phone 7 Series and be notified when it is available can register at http://www.windowsphone7series.com.

To watch the full replay of Steve Ballmer’s press conference at Mobile World Congress, and to experience Windows Phone 7 Series through an online product demo, readers can visit http://www.microsoft.com/news/windowsphone.


The image at the top of the page is a shot of the new WP7 home screen. Here is a video demo of features of Windowsphone 7 series.


Our Thoughts:
The adoption and enhancement of the zune interface for WP7 is a good move.

We like the concept of hubs. It sounds intuitive, and we hope that it is well implemented. Instead of having to scroll between applications, you simply go to a hub for related apps and services. For example, instead of having to look for the FM radio application, simply go to the Music + Video hub. Any other source of video and music is integrated in there. Smart.

Microsoft seems to be heading in the right direction with WP7. Now, we only have to wait till the end of the year for the first devices.

11 comments

  1. Sounds promising but waiting for 10 months will be trying the patience of WinMo geeks. Over to xda developers for porting early leaks of the ROM to current devices?

  2. I see winMO gaining a lot of traction by their announcement, its definitely a welcome change to the winMO fans, just hope it can be ported to older devices

  3. Kindly permit my ignorance.
    The same microsoft whose operating system is always suffering a massive viral attack with countless updates is releasing a phone? I can tolerate innumerable re-booting and constant patches on my desktop or laptop but not with my phone.

    A phone software should be simple, cute and relatively stable over a period of time which I doubt microsoft will provide.

  4. Folorunsho,

    Ah, welcome to the world of smartphones! Let’s bring you up to speed; shall we?

    There have been Windows Mobile smartphones since 2002, and some of them have been the most powerful, most stable, most reliable devices around. Users haven’t faced massive viral attacks, countless updates, innumerable re-booting (just some) and constant patches on their phones either 🙂

    Here are a few Windowsphone reviews on this site:

    1. Samsung B7320 first impressions
    2. Samsung B7320 OmniaPRO review – efficient workhorse
    3. Sony Ericsson X1 Review – Part 1 (User Interface)
    4. Sony Ericsson X1 Review – Part 2 (Battery Life)

    It would be further instructive to mention that Yomi (who has owned and used over 45 mobile phones, some of them the very best smartphones in the world) has two Windows Mobile smartphones on his Smartphone of the Year 2009 finalists list. One came out 3rd place; the other clinched the number 1 spot.

    We think you should try out a few Windows phones to see for yourself. A trial might convince you.

  5. I have never been a fan of wins mobile devices.The user interface always looks dull and uninteresting to me. Now with the announcement of wins 7 mobile, I might have a change of mind. I knew the Microsoft guys have been up to some innovations all this while coz of their falling market share of the mobile OS market. They gat no choice. They just have to step up their game.

  6. Thanks for the reply to my inquiries.

    I want to know the actual difference that exist now between these smart phones and PDA (Portable hand held Device). This was because two year ago a friend of mine was to design a software to run on smart phones and PDA. We tried HP—Q (I cant remember the model no) with Windows Operating System all attempts to run the software on the PDA was frustrated with one update or the other. When a phone with SYMBIAN operating system was used to run the software it executed without unnecessary hitches. That was why I concluded that buyin a window phone for now must be with caution.

    I have learn a lot from this site and your explanation above satisfies my curiosity, however I will still hesitate and see for myself physically someone close to me who use window mobile phones without complaining before entering into the race to acquire it.

    Once again thanks for the information empowering us.

  7. Folorunsho,

    A PDA on its own cannot be used to make/receive calls, send SMS, connect to the internet. A smartphone usually has most of the functionality of a PDA in addition to being able to do all the above.

    Basically, a smartphone is a PDA with a phone radio and functionality built-in.

  8. With the advent of this Windows Phone 7 Series, i am seeing the end of WinMo as we know it. There will be no more support for WinMo and since the new windows phone 7 is not backward compartible, those ppl just buying WinMo 6.2 are going to regret not waiting for this new windows mobile.
    What a pity.

  9. I think it is good thing that Microsoft upgraded their mobile OS to Windows Phone 7. But it is really bad that it is not backward compatible with Windows Mobile. I agree with Deola Doctor who introduced me to this site. Any Body buying Win Mo 6.2 or 6.5 are going to regret it. Microsoft will take away all the Winmo Apps from their apps store and replace them with WP 7 apps to entice software developers to develop apps for them, As a result of this, I think previous windows Mobiles users, fans, and loyalists are going to lose. . Individuals need to rethink buying any WinMo 6.5 devices. It is better to be patient till when W P 7 comes in the 4th quarter of 2010. As far as I am concerned the new operating system by Microsoft should be called Windows Phone version 1 and not 7! This is because it is a completely different OS from the previous Windows mobile. Different Kernel, API and all.

    My Gripe with Microsoft with the new operating system is that they copied Apple too much. And I think the new phone may not multi-task because of the zune-like interface. A question thrown at Steve Jobs during the MWC summit signified this analysis. He replied that Music may only run in the background.

    I feel Microsoft should be innovative. Ofcourse, Win Mo needed to be upgraded and facelifted like yesterday. Despite this, it isn’t enough to just copy another operating system even along with the bad part instead of improving on the previous Os.

  10. WIndows phone 7 is good. In fact great. It is the biggest hype in the tech world now. And in fact the major event in the just concluded MWC.

    But I have a gripe with it. Though I can tolerate hubs and all that, I hate the idea of Microsoft replacing Icons for large words. For example, instead for an icon for the music files or folder, You just have one large “MUSIC” in place. Though fingerfriendly because of its large size, i think it is a shortcoming. And people may crucify Microsoft for that. Whatever happened to Graphics (GUI) and icons?

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