Microsoft Unleashes Windows Phone 7

| Product News

Microsoft officially took the wraps off Windows Phone 7, the next version of the company’s mobile platform the company is hoping can win back market share from iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. In its announcement, Big Redmond is emphasizing the idea that the platform has been built around the twin pillars of being “…always delightful” and “…wonderfully mine.”

Windows Phone 7 Screenshot

HTC Surround Windows Phone 7
(available on AT&T)

The OS’s main interface is block oriented, with customizable “live tiles” on a “Start” screen, where users can have quick access to the information they want.

For instance, in the image to the left, the HTC device has blocks for phone calls, Facebook updates, text messages, e-mail, streaming pictures of some sort, Xbox Live access, and quick access to Internet Explorer.

Users can have as many of these large blocks as they want, and scroll through them if there are more than will fit on one screen.

As the name implies “live tiles” can be updated with live information, with real-time content, social networking updates, and more.

Microsoft has integrated Xbox Live for both solo gaming and for multiplayer gaming with other users. Users can access many features from the Xbox’s online service, and points and accomplishments earned on the phone will tie into their overall account.

The OS is also integrated with Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, and its uses the Zune interface for music.

The company said that it is “so committed to the new phone” that it has arranged for every full-time Microsoft employee around the planet to be able to switch to a Windows Phone 7 device as soon as it launches in their local market.

In other words, the company is making it as easy as possible for employees to ditch their iPhones and Android devices as it can.

Microsoft announced a total of nine phones, including three with AT&T (the company offered a video presentation on these new devices for those wanting to see all of them). These phones will begin appearing in the European market on October 21st, and in the US. beginning on November 8th.

You can also watch CEO Steve Ballmer’s press conference announcing the new OS at Microsoft’s Web site.

Comments

Jamie

Even if it’s terrible and business as usual from Microsoft (and nine phones? Yow. Dilute your brand much?), I’m glad there’s another big competitor. Let’s look at those market share charts again in six months.

Dalvik

I’ve seen Microsoft’s television advertisements. Already there are parody versions:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUUERKq0IA0

Lee Dronick

As Marc Anthony said: “Cry ‘havoc And let slip the dogs of phones!”

nealg

I have looked at a couple of different articles on the new phone and I can’t get past how bad the screen shots look to me. I dislike the tiles, the colors and the asymmetric look to the screen. I also can’t fathom how this will look any better on a bigger screen type tablet. But that is just how I feel about it. For MSFTs sake, I hope most people feel differently.

Neal

Lee Dronick

(and nine phones? Yow. Dilute your brand much?),

It is like there is one for each of of the Windows 7 desktop versions.

mhikl

You can also watch CEO Steve Ballmer?s press conference announcing the new OS at Microsoft?s Web site.

Not without a bucket between my legs. From the valley of bad dreams rises the ugly. If you see a dagger before thee, Balmer, call. I have the instructions.

Lancashire-Witch

Does it support Flash?

Constable Odo

That’s an awful lot of “Flagship” phones in one day.  I thought the term referred to ‘one’ of something.  You won’t see 7 or 10 flagships on naval maneuvers at one time.  Microsoft is delivering a shotgun blast of phones.  I can’t wait to see how the consumers take to these handsets.

Tiger

And of course, Microsoft’s stock dropped $.10 after the announcements.

Wall Street, was that a yawn?

ctopher

What does the “2” mean next to “Phone” on the upper left tile? Do I have 2 calls on hold? Or do I only have 2 friends that I like to call, or are their 2 messages? (If it’s messages, why not call the tile “voice mail” or “messages” or something.

I wanted to know all about Windows Phone 7, but my aging eMac doesn’t support the right version of Silverlight, so I’m out of luck.

Someone asked if Windows Phone 7 supported Flash. I wonder if it supports Silverlight.

wab95

As Marc Anthony said: ?Cry ?havoc And let slip the dogs of phones!?

Well-said, Sir Harry.

Lee Dronick

Sir Harry Flashman said:As Marc Anthony said: ?Cry ?havoc And let slip the dogs of phones!?
Well-said, Sir Harry.

Might as well finish what he said smile

“That this foul OS shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.”

Seriously, I haven’t tried the phone and OS combination, nor have I read any reviews, it may very well be a good device. Time will tell and “then the end be known.”

wab95

it may very well be a good device

And the Russian Lada may be a good car…

Lee Dronick

And the Russian Lada may be a good car?

The difference is that the Lada is already on the street and the Windows Phones are not even in the dealer showroom smile

wab95

The difference is that the Lada is already on the street and the Windows Phones are not even in the dealer showroom

Touch

wab95

You can also watch CEO Steve Ballmer?s press conference announcing the new OS at Microsoft?s Web site.

Having just looked at press conference (I have some time off) I feel that MS just might be able to pull off retaining, indeed, clawing back some market share in low and middle income countries.

There are many businesses and other interests in these places where a MS phone would be the path of least resistance.

MacKeeper_fan_Mod

I would just wait and see apple fanboys. It may offer something new, which in turn will force apple (and google) to innovate more which is a great thing

Don’t be so quick to judge, I mean Microsoft did make the xbox 360 which is a major hit with no viruses.

Apple even acknowledges Microsoft as it capitalizes it’s name on the iPhone.

wab95

I would just wait and see apple fanboys. It may offer something new

You are right, of course. I think we sometimes have a bit of fun at MS’s expense, but they remain a force to be reckoned with, and to their credit, have put out products that remain IT staples. Their current offering with Windows Phone 7 has a real chance of success, with a potential pre-installed market.

I don’t think they (Microsoft) yet realise that, although they were once rivals with Apple over market dominance in the PC space, that they are no longer truly rivals of Apple’s. The two have evolved along different courses to become two very different companies with different models, different strengths and, increasingly, a dissimilar client base.

I believe that once they come to recognise this, either now or under new leadership, they will regain their corporate footing.

Bryan Chaffin

Well said, wab95.

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