Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shout Hallelujah, Come On, Get Appy

Time Magazine's Techland writer, Peter Ha has a good write up of Microsoft's recently announced Windows Phone 7 series mobile operating system, due out at the end of the year (2010). While I don't agree with everything Mr. Ha writes (Doesn't Motorola's MotoBlur do the same social media aggregation trick as Windows Phone 7?), he does a good job of summing up why this now mobile operating system is so important to Microsoft.
"When you think about Microsoft, a lot of adjectives come to mind, but hip and cool are probably not among them. Many consumers associate Microsoft only with the Windows machine they're using. And all those "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC" ads have made Apple users like me feel kind of sorry for PCs.

But it's a brand-new decade, and Microsoft is about to leapfrog Apple — and every other player in the cell-phone world — with the launch of Windows Phone 7 (WP7).

But the most underappreciated product in Microsoft's vast portfolio, the Zune digital media player, is about to roll all these products into one handy little phone that catapults Microsoft ahead of Apple, Google, Palm and BlackBerry's maker, RIM."

You can read Mr. Ha's full article on the Time website.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Steve Ballmer MWC Keynote Address Posted

Didn't make it to Barcelona for today's Mobile World Congress keynote by Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer? Neither did I.

You can watch Mr. Ballmer's keynote below and then head over to the Microsoft website to watch the other Microsoft videos about Windows Phone 7 series.




Visit the Microsoft Windows Phone video gallery.

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Windows Phone Screen Shots

With the first Windows Phone smartphones not going on sale until "holiday 2010," Windows Mobile fans may be left feeling a little bit empty inside until late this year.

Until then, Microsoft has posted a number of screen shots to cheer you up until the forth quarter!

If the screen shots are not enough to hold you over until we can get our hands on handsets running Windows Phone 7 series, make sure to check out the Microsoft Windows Phone Newsroom for all the latest news on Windows Phone 7. And if you want to jump in on the discussion about Windows Phone, you should check out the Windows Phone Backstage website to talk about the new operating system with other Microsoft fans.

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Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series

Earlier today, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer showed off the next generation of Microsoft's mobile operating system: Windows Phone 7 Series.

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. 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.”
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.
Availability

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.

Today's Microsoft press release was posted on the Microsoft website.

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