Microsoft has announced their Windows Phone 7 platform today in Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress. This is the make or break platform for Microsoft. The press release is a bit light on technical details but it gives general information on the platform, not the least of which confirms it existence and gives rough release dates.
Microsoft has announced their Windows Phone 7 platform today in Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress. This is the make or break platform for Microsoft. The press release is a bit light on technical details but it gives general information on the platform, not the least of which confirms it existence and gives rough release dates.The first thing I noticed is the term "Windows Mobile" appears no where in the press release. The term "Windows Phone" which was first announced in October 2009 when WinMo 6.5 shipped. It appears they are now going with Windows Phone for the platform itself too, so "Windows Mobile" itself is as outdated as "Pocket PC." Not sure though that the abbreviation WinPho has the same ring to it as WinMo.
The entire press release is as follows:
Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series
New phones designed for life in motion to debut at holiday 2010.
BARCELONA, 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. We believe Windows Phone 7 Series is a phone that truly reflects the speed of people's lives and their need to connect to other people."
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.
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.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
I don't yet have a link to the press release on Microsoft's site. I'll update this post when I get that information. Update:The link is here and it includes other links as well, like to the official WinPho 7 site.
This doesn't answer all of the rumors we've been hearing lately either, like will Windows Phone 7 be able to multitask and will it restrict apps to the Marketplace only? Hopefully that and more will come out at Mobile World Congress this week. At least we do know the platform is officially acknowledged and should be available in time for the holidays at the end of this year. It remains to be seen if this will reverse the downward trend Windows Mobile has experienced recently. Actual product demonstrations should go a long way towards answering those questions.
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