Windows Phone 7 Series was launched today by Steve Ballmer here at Mobile World Congress. We have realized the Microsoft’s new smarphone OS,here are the essential facts you need to know. Oh, and our hands-on with the new OS won’t be far away.
1. This is where Microsoft gets serious
The new OS marks a real departure for Windows on a phone. A couple of years ago Microsoft decided it needed to get serious about the consumer market or lose out. The iPhone was here and looming large. What it actually needed was to lighten up in terms of design – and get serious about the challenge from its competitors. It has succeeded on both counts.
2. Games will be on board
The impact of the Games hub on the devices will be crucial, . You can read more about this in our piece detailing the entire Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7 Series announcement, but it’s pretty clear that Xbox Live will enable access to your Xbox Live profile and avatar. But what else could the Games hub be used for? We’re sure Microsoft will want to expand things in this area.
3. It’ll be on loads of handsets
Windows Phone 7 Series will be on board a whole heap of handsets from numerous operators by the Autumn. Just look at the initial partner list – AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG , Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica (they own O2), Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm. Wowsers.
4. It uses Dorado
Dorado is the codename for the Zune software for the PC. And now, iTunes style, it’ll sync content to your Windows Phone, too. After all, ActiveSync is rubbish, isn’t it?
5. It’s good for work and pleasure
Windows Phone has to keep the features that make it so appealing to corporates – compatibility with Exchange and Office, for example. But Microsoft may finally have found a way to balance this with the thirst for snazzy smartphone tech.
6. It’s great with people
The People Hub is the finest way we’ve yet seen to bring all your communication together in one place. It’ll be interesting to see if it integrates other social networks (and if you can totally configure this).
7. It’s all about the live tiles
At a time when Apple’s iPhone UI still holds major influence over the market (look at Samsung’s latest phones to see why), Microsoft has managed to at least mix things up a little. Taking the best aspects of the Zune interface and combining them with the dynamic tiled approach is clever – we’re fans.
8. Search is central to the experience
As well as the Start button, 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 handset. “A special implementation of Bing search provides intent-specific results, delivering the most relevant web or local results, depending on the type of query,” says Microsoft. What that actually means is that if you search for “pizza” on a phone, it’ll search local businesses for you first.
9. Hubs are it
The People Hub is clever (even if it’s not totally original). But we like the idea of gathering together content – after all gathering media together is basically what Apple does with the iPod app on the iPhone. Integration with third-party apps and services also marks a real departure for the OS, even if it may be seen as a necessary evil by some Microsoft internals. Windows Phone 7 Series includes six hubs including Office, Xbox Live and Marketplace for apps.
10. It’ll sync over Wi-Fi
Dear Apple, please sort this out. Because Microsoft has beaten you to the punch.
Thanks for the Roundup from TechRadar.com