By February 15, 2010

MWC: Microsoft Announces Windows Phone 7 Series, Comes with Zune



Microsoft today finally revealed its latest mobile OS, Windows Phone 7 Series. Yes its quite a mouthful but represents a complete overhaul of its mobile OS and the last chance it has to revitalize its WinMo platform before its left behind by the likes of iPhone and Android.

It is very different from what came before and different from any of the other UI out in the market today, has a new version of Microsoft IE for Mobile, 4-point multitouch and pinch to zoom, so far so good. The home screen has been completely reworked, as has the whole OS and starts with a set of tiles that are active and allow you pull together all your information, contacts and content through a series of panoramic hubs called ‘People, Pictures, Games, Media, Office and of course Marketplace for apps. You can get an idea of how you might scroll through these hubs from the pictures below.

peoplescreen_web picturesscreen_web

gamesscreen_web musicvidscreen_web

Of most interest to some will be the integration with Xbox and the Zune like interface for media. Every 7 Series phone will be a Zune, its not exactly clear yet how 7 Series interacts with Xbox Live but those that have played with the ZuneHD will feel at home and interface has been quite a success for Microsoft, so its good to see it implemented here.

Business users are not left out, integration with Office and Exchange has always been WinMo’s strong point and 7 Series should be no different.

Unfortunately you wont be able to use your old application’s as its not backwards compatible with WinMo 6 and Flash is unconfirmed, as is multitasking. Suggestions are that it will pause applications when not used directly, which could cause problems for some. More on this soon hopefully.

There will be a single Windows Phone identity regardless of carrier or device brand. Microsoft have dictated what type hardware 7 Series can run on, which includes capacitive screens and multitouch, so expect a powerful hardware and a robust experience. Those new phones will likely look similar at first, featuring a high res touchscreen, cameras, three front-facing buttons (back, start, and perhaps not shockingly, a Bing key), and little else but expect to this expand to more innovative devices in 2011.

Carrier partnerships are far and wide, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, while hardware partners include Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm to name a few.

To show off the OS, Microsoft have thoughtfully provided a nice video;



Lots more information to come in the days and weeks ahead, but expect to see handsets with the new OS in Q3 2010 with rumored handsets from Acer and LG in September 2010. We hope to see some hands on time with development devices later today as MWC rolls on.

Posted in: Phones

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Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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