Microsoft Announces Windows Phone 7, Aka The Zune PhoneFeb 15th, 2010 | By James Lewin | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players
Today at Mobile World Congress 2010, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveils the next generation of Windows Phones, Windows Phone 7 Series – a new multimedia mobile phone platform that promises to be the biggest introduction since the iPhone.
Windows Phone 7 will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone. According to Microsoft, their partners have already started building phones and customers will be able to purchase the first phones in stores by holiday 2010.
“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,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “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.”
Windows 7 Phone Features:
While the Windows 7 Phone platform will beg comparisons with Apple’s iPhone, Microsoft is doing what it can to try and differentiate its platform.
- Windows 7 Phones will be offered from many vendors.
- Microsoft is making a major feature out of XBox Live games.
- Zune media player and “social” support.
- Mobille Internet Explorer
- Microsoft Office mobile support
- The Star screen features dynamically updated “live tiles”, that show users real-time content directly. 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.
Microsoft is going beyond the idea of a Zune phone and trying to offer an interface and platform that can compete with Apples, but that builds on Microsoft’s strengths, including Microsoft Office and Bing.
Windows Phone 7 Series phones will also features 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.
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, Telefonica, 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.
Press coverage at Yahoo Tech here.