The whole world anticipated this release from Microsoft at this years Mobile Congress Event in Barcelona, almost as much as we were looking forward to the release of the iPad from Apple.
Ok, maybe we weren’t that eager to see what Microsoft would announce, but what they did announce came as a surprise to many of us, a pleasant surprise though. It’s very different from any version of Windows Mobile that’s come before it.
Firstly it supports full Multi touch! as well as being very finger friendly from what we’ve seen. This new operating system pretty much does away with every trace of the old Windows mobile software and gives us a complete new user interface. Microsoft have done the right thing here, they’ve gotten rid of all the unnecessary features like animated backgrounds and fancy transitions. Instead they’ve followed the Zune HD experience with some added features. That familiar start screen is now gone, instead we are now presented with , “tiles” which scroll vertically and can be customized as quick launches, links to contacts, or self contained widgets.
Phone 7 Series is heavily focused on social networking, as are most things now. It has features such as integrated contact pages which show status updates from multiple services and allow fast jumps to richer cloud content (such as photo galleries). Xbox integration will also include LIVE games, avatars, and profiles, and the Zune end of things appears to be a carbon copy of the standalone device’s features, including an FM Radio.
Applications such as the browser, contacts and email are also now better connected, automatically performing tasks such as linking phone numbers to web addresses. Hopefully this should make having a better net-connected experience much easier.
Apart from a whole new UI, Microsoft are also starting to control the hardware market somewhat. Setting rigid specs for 7 Series devices that must be met (a specific CPU and speed, screen aspect ratio and resolution, memory, and even button configuration), and doing away with carrier or partner UI customizations such as Sense or TouchWiz. This will also mean that all Windows Phone 7 Series will look very similar, al having to have the 3 button configuration demanded from Microsoft ( Back, Start, Bing )
There are plenty of Carriers available worldwide, 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.
Microsoft’s Windows Mobile branch has been losing lots of market share recently to Android and of course the iPhone OS. I’m guessing there starting to take this issue seriously now based on this well thought out approach with Windows Phone 7 Series OS.
What do you think? Will it get Microsoft going in the phone market again?
Let us know in the comments