Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

Summary: Windows Phone 7 is out in Technical Preview form and being tested by a number of people. With over a week under my belt, there are several aspects that I appreciate and a few that are missing.


I posted my in-depth Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview Guide three days ago and have now passed the one week mark with the phone serving as one of my primary devices. The phone is performing very well and I am already making current device purchase decisions to get myself into a position to buy one from T-Mobile. I wanted to go ahead and list the top 10 features and functions that I am enjoying on the Samsung Windows Phone 7 device while also listing those that could make the list at the time of release.

As you know from reading the various articles on Windows Phone 7, this Technical Preview is quite an improved version compared to what people have seen at trade shows earlier this year. Nearly every person who has used one of these developer phones has said that the OS is very good and looks promising. Microsoft has their work cut out for them to address copy-paste and multi-tasking while also spreading the word about their new mobile OS, which is something they have not been able to do in the past with Zune HD, Windows Mobile, and other technology. They do pretty well with the Xbox so should probably be looking at that team for help.

Here are my top 10 features and functions found in the current Technical Preview of Windows Phone 7:

10. Smooth transitional user interface 9. Informative lock screen and auto-hidden top status bar 8. Good Office integration and support 7. Bing search page and functionality 6. Easy setup for Google, Windows Live, Yahoo! Mail, and others 5. Functional QWERTY keyboard 4. Cool camera software 3. Tellme voice search 2. Powerful Outlook email, calendar, and contacts client 1. Zune HD functionality

Thoughts on numbers 6-10

I personally like using the Metro UI and the partial words lets me know there is more out there to look at. One glance at the lock screen and I can see the date and time, upcoming appointments, wireless network status, any notifications I need to address, and more. I like that I only see the clock up top unless I slide down to see a few more pieces of status data. Office is fairly well integrated and I look forward to testing out SharePoint support. Bing Search is a beautiful experience and I find the results to be well laid out and accurate.

Thoughts on numbers 1-5

Gmail and Google fans are going to be happy to know setting these services up on a WP7 device are as easy as a Google Android device, with support for even more services out of the box. I am able to FLY on the QWERTY keyboard and think it could get even better with some tap and hold number support. The camera software is quite functional and works "above the lock" so that you can grab your phone and take photos without every unlocking the display. Pictures you took appear in the same roll as you take photos so you can easily jump to a photo you just took or capture the next one. Tellme voice search is very accurate and a handy feature to have. Windows Mobile has always given you the best native Outlook support and this continues in Windows Phone 7 so it isn't all focused on the consumer. If you like the Zune HD (you will learn to like it if you buy a WP7 device) then you will love it on a WP7 device. There are some things lacking at this time (such as Smart DJ), but we still have a few months to wait until we see a shipping product.

What is still missing?

The two most obvious glaring issues are the lack of copy-paste and the limited multi-tasking. You can already select a word and use the cursor so it shouldn't be that much effort for Microsoft to get some developers locked into a room to figure out copy-paste on WP7

Just like the previous versions of the iPhone, you can have native apps running in the background so you could listen to Zune HD streaming content while surfing the web and receiving emails on the go.

There are several other areas that need work, such as the games in Xbox Live, Twitter support, 3rd party apps, and more. However, the OS is quite refined and consistent and I think people are going to be quite happy with it when it rolls out later this year.

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Wi-Fi, Windows

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  • This is strange

    No multitasking?

    I can "multitask" on my ZuneHD...
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

      @NStalnecker But only with native apps which all Zune HD apps are. Microsoft does not support any 3rd party apps on Zune HD Marketplace.
    • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

      @NStalnecker <br>It has "limited" multitasking. No 3rd Party apps can use the multitasking feature yet only Microsoft apps can access that. The ZuneHD is all MS software so we can multitask all day on there.

      edit- I just read the reply from jspignardo.... seems it's already been said/
  • Your reviews are great!

    Your reviews have been really helpful & thorough. I'm definitely considering one of these when they come out.
    • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

      Same here. Hope they're not ridiculously priced too high, though.
      View from Here
  • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

    I do not believe that 1-5 will remain the way they are on your demo phone. Microsoft has no system in final release right now that doesn't enforce/push the BING/IE/Silverlight default installations.
  • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

    It's been confirmed that Bing is not only the default browser but cannot be changed for another. The reason being that it has been fully integrated into the OS. It's not an App in the way Apple or Android apps behave: as independent ecosytems. Therefore it's not a simple case of replacing Bing with Google.<br>However they have confirmed that you could download a Google or Yahoo app browser and search the internet on that, but anything that requires a link or integration to the internet, either from a Hub or another app will go straight to Bing.
    It makes sense, as Bing has been optimised for WP7 - not just in terms of speed, but also content: eg. map directions etc, and the Bing Tell Me voice recognition which is integrated throughout! It works great aswell!
    • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

      Bing is not a browser, it's an integrated site. Nothing stopping you from using the browser to connect to
    • What do you expect?

      @Poppets Bing is integrated into WP7 just like Google search is integrated into Android devices. Why would anyone expect anything different? If the experience is good, and it is, then I really don't understand the issue with using Bing. Are people just so anti-Microsoft that they want to use Google search instead of Bing? If that is the case, then I imagine they will buy an Android device instead anyway.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        +1, great reply, I was thinking the same.
      • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        i use Bing on my Android phone.
  • The only real feature I see is Office integration

    The other features on the list are STANDARD features in many phones .... even non-smart kind.

    So saying that that is a feature list is a joke.
    • the only standout feature you see

      @wackoae even if standard still a feature and the way they are implemented is important.
  • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

    I've had an iPhone for nearly two years and could care less about Cut and Paste or multi-tasking. I just want it to work fast and not drop calls. I switch on October 1st to WP7 and will happily say good bye to the iPhone.
    • Sure you had an iPhone

      But not one from Apple. A phone shaped like the letter I is not an iPhone.

      Work fast? Drop calls?? Only people who never used one in their life say crap like this.
      • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

        Agreed! I live outside St. Louis, far enough that we don't have 3G, but speed is still good and never a dropped call on the IPhone.
        Technical John
      • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7

        @wackoae I have friends and colleagues who drop calls alllll the time on the iPhone. They just like to blame AT&T until I let them know that I have AT&T and I'm standing next to them with full bar coverage.
      • RE: Top 10 features of Windows Phone 7


        Why is it so hard for people to believe that someone could have an iPhone but not like it? I also have an iPhone 3GS and I am tired of the failed/dropped/missed calls and slow data connectivity. Hard to believe I'm paying full price for this data plan, yet not getting decent service. And no, it's not my phone, it was tested and found to be "fully functional". My co-workers in the same building have the same issues, so this is an area-specific problem (although I do have issues at my house too). Yet other phones on the same AT&T network don't have these issues. And all this goes on while I get "five bars". Go figure.

        Interesting observation: When we have conf calls with a large group of people, often many of them work at home. We can usually tell right away who are using iPhones simply by how bad the call quality is. Their voices keep fading in/out, and it is just hard to hear them in general. We usually ask them to switch to a landline if possible.

        I just want a phone that works, you know, as a phone. I'm planning on switching to WP7 as soon as I can.
  • Matthew: Need Updated Smartphone Guide

    You put together a really good smartphone guide last fall. With all the changes, I hope you will have time to put out a new guide by the end of the year if not before. The trick will be how soon the carriers announce the next round of phones, mainly the WinMo7 phones.
  • You got to be kidding?

    Apple was slammed over two years ago for not offering cut and paste or multitasking and now Mr. Miller thinks Microsoft can compete in today's market without these features? What developer in his right mind would bother writing anything worthwhile in such an outdated platform?