Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

Summary: October 11 was the official Microsoft launch of Windows Phone 7. I asked readers what they wanted to know and have gotten a number of questions about Microsoft's strategy, the products and the future. Here are the answers I've been able to get (so far).

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October 11 was the official Microsoft launch of Windows Phone 7. I asked readers what they wanted to know and have gotten a number of questions about Microsoft's strategy, the products and the future. Here are the answers I've been able to get (so far).

1. When can I buy a Windows Phone 7 in the U.S.?

A: One model -- the Samsung Focus on AT&T, will be available on November 8. "A few weeks" later, expect the LG Quantum and HTC Surround (both on AT&T). T-mobile officials said the HTC HD7 will be available in "mid-November." There will be nine WP7 models available in the U.S. by November, Microsoft officials said. No word yet on availability of unlocked WP7 phones (and how much those might cost.) Update: Amazon is listing unlocked HTC handsets for the European market ranging in the $685 (U.S.) to $800-plus range, as Engadget is reporting.

2. Is Verizon on board with Windows 7 for sure?

A: Yes (in spite of the Kin debaucle). Verizon and Sprint are both on tap to offer Windows Phone 7 devices some time in 2011, according to a brief mention in Microsoft's press release. No word if this means early, mid-, or late-2011. The first Windows Phone 7 devices are GSM-only, as Microsoft officials previously admitted; CDMA support is a next-year thing.

3. Who is the target audience for these phones?

A: While Microsoft would undoubtedly love to sway iPhone, Droid, RIM and other smartphone users to WP7, the main target is the feature phone user. There are a lot more of those folks out there who aren't wedded to a particular smartphone platform/carrier yet. The question is -- as it was with the discontinued Kin -- will these users be willing to pay $200-plus for a smartphone. (That's the price AT&T has said it will charge for its first three Windows Phone 7 phones.) Microsoft's first WP7 ads are emphasizing the devices' simpler, less cluttered, and (supposedly) more intuitive interface as a selling point.

4. If I already subsubscribe to ZunePass, do I need to buy another subscription for my Windows Phone 7 device?

A: No. The same ZunePass subscription, activated by the same Windows Live ID, that works on your media player or Xbox will work on Windows Phone 7. (It must be the same Live ID, however; if you have more than one connected to various accounts, only the one used for ZunePass will work on the phone.) If you don't want to subscribe to the $15-per-month ZunePass, you'll still be able to buy individual songs, movies and TV shows for your phone via ZunePass. You also will be able to get music/video content from third-party providers, including Netflix, YouTube, Slacker, Spotify and more on Windows Phone 7s. You also can play iTunes-purchased music/movies on WP7  if the content is MP3. If it is Apple-DRM'd content, it won't work on WP7.

5. Can I get turn-by-turn directions on Windows Phone 7?

A: Windows Phone 7 does not offer voice-cued turn-by-turn navigation out of the box. However, it may be available as an additional service through Windows Phone Marketplace or our mobile operator partners, according to the Softies. No further details at this point. Update: MSP System architect Andrew Willett says Orange will be providing turn-by-turn via Orange Maps. And AT&T has its own turn-by-turn map capability which may be part of some WP7 phones.

6. What's really there for business users in version one of the phones?

A: The Office hub is the synchronization point for business users who want to review (and do some light edits) to documents. Office Mobile -- a version of Microsoft's core Office apps for WP7 is the centerpiece. OneNote is the primary/default app for the hub and it may be pinned to a user's interface as a Tile. SharePoint synchronization is built into the Office Hub release, allowing users to read (but not check out) documents stored on their SharePoint servers at the office. There is some Office Web Apps integration built into the Office hub, but it sounds like seamless integration between SkyDrive and the phones won't be coming until a future release.

7. What's next? When's Windows Phone 8 coming?

A: Microsoft officials said today there will be an update coming to Windows Phone 7 users in "early 2011" that will provide copy-and-paste functionality. Updates will be delivered directly to phones (with carriers being able to put fewer holds/delays on them) when they are ready. Updates will be pushed via the Zune PC client for operating-system, app and game updates. Regarding Windows Phone 8, Microsoft execs aren't talking. But I'm wagering "Stella" may be a possibility, named for Stella Pizza, a secret meeting spot close to the phone launch site.

What else do you still want to know about Windows Phone 7?

More Windows Phone 7 launch coverage:

Hands-on review: T-Mobile's HTC HD7 with Windows Phone 7

Gallery Tour: A first look at the Windows Phone 7 line-up

For Windows Phone 7, all of Microsoft comes to play

Microsoft's goal with Windows Phone 7: Disrupt the category

Topic center: Windows Phone 7

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

    Youtube Application on WP7?
    Does WP7 import Twitter contact as well in the people hub if downloaded from marketplace?
    pradeepviswav
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      h t t p : / / 0 8 4 5 . c o m / I n r


      I tide fashion
      hbfjh
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      @pradeepviswav
      Yes, there's a Youtube application that integrate with the Music + Video Hub

      Twitter is a seperate application not part of the people hub
      illegaloperation
  • Where's the beef?

    I mean where's the apps?
    Seems to me phone are really "app-delivery" systems.

    Cheers, TC
    cross1
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      @cross@... 2000 apps will be available at launch.
      NPGMBR
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      @cross@...

      No. You mean "where are the apps?". Or, you mean "where's the beef?"
      jorjitop
  • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

    Will WM7 address Androids biggest weaknesses for business users specifically - voice dialing via Bluetooth and intrinsic remote wipe?
    florida_rob
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      @florida_rob

      MS has had voice dialing in the past, I suspect it is in WM7, if not it will be most definately added soon after launch. It already does built-in voice searching.

      Also, you can go to a website and manage your device, including remotely calling and wiping the phone in case it is lost.
      dennisbeatty
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      @florida_rob I believe there's voice dialling. I'm not sure if it works via bluetooth though. Here's a demo of what the voice recognition can do:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY6QfxmMAII&feature=player_embedded

      hope this helps
      artstate
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      @florida_rob
      Voice dialing via Bluetooth has already been shown off.
      Remote wipe is available free via Find My Phone service.
      illegaloperation
  • What else do you still want to know?

    More details on security features please, such as:

    No IPSec?
    Remote wipe via what tool?
    How is storage encrypted?
    SSL VPN to non-UAG gateways?
    .NET Framework security levels?
    Anti-virus vendors?
    Managed through SCMDM?
    Active Directory integration?
    Kereberos authentication?
    S/MIME support?
    Certificate sync with computer?
    User certificate authentication?
    GPS locate lost or stolen phones?
    Built-in firewall?
    Security logging capabilities?
    Can send security alerts?
    Biometric phone unlock?

    Any other RIM/Blackberry enterprise management or security features?

    Thank You!
    JohnMorgan3
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      @JFDude
      IPSec is part and parcel with ipv6
      burtonrodman
      • And what carrier is using IPv6? (nt)

        nt
        Richard Flude
    • working on your list

      In the interim, here's a couple of bits about security functionality that will/won't be there:

      http://www.mobiletechworld.com/2010/07/03/windows-phone-7-data-encryption/

      http://www.mobiletechworld.com/2010/06/09/microsoft-forefront-unified-access-gateway-uag-on-windows-phone-7/

      MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Google Earth

    Has Microsoft announced anything about a Google Earth app? Or a Bing maps export to KML feature?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Answers

    Pradeepviswav,

    Yes, there is youtube available on Windows Phone 7, the link to the app was shown during the launch event while demonstrating the phone.

    As for Twitter, I believe that it does, but we won't now 'for sure' until they become available.

    cross@...,

    Everyone wants to talk about the iPhone and Andriod concerning apps, tell me, how many did those phones have AT LAUNCH? Microsoft will have several thousand at launch (they are starting to populate the marketplace now and you can see them with your updated zune software) and as was reported, over 20,000 developers have downloaded the apps.

    Further explanation, since I think I know where you are headed with this... It is a MILLION times easier to write an application for Windows Phone 7 than either Android or Apple. With the addition of Visual Basic as a supported language in the very near future, that will be an even bigger deal. In addition, there are already tutorials on how to take an existing iPhone app and make it work on Windows Phone 7, the fact that Apple has been screwing over their developers for years will ensure that a large percentage, if not nearly all, will at least recompile their apps to run on Microsoft's system.

    And that is the real key here... Microsoft has already beaten Apple in the app game on the OS space. They got 'lazy' with their phone system (remember, they developed and owned the space while Apple was trying to keep from going bankrupt) and Apple pulled ahead of them with a great product, but in the end, the same problems that Apple has in the marketplace will come and bite them on the rear. Microsoft understands apps, getting developers to write for your system and using that relationship to bury their competition who doesn't get it. And trust me, in that area, Apple and Google still don't 'get it'.

    IMO, the fact that Android was able to displace the iPhone in less than 1 year blows away the nonsense that you have to have the largest number of apps available or be first to market or that no one can come in now and own the space within 2 years time. Anyone thinking like that, especially Apple and Google, are going to be in for a shock trying to figure out why they are losing ground in a year or two...
    dennisbeatty
    • Market Share

      @dennisbeatty@... The undisputed king of smartphone market share is Symbian at 41%. Androids gains appear to have come mostly at the expense of Linux, Symbian and previous Windows Phone versions. Is there evidence of people trading in their iPhones for Android? So what did you mean by "displace"?

      I'm also curious if any market research exists detailing how much is spent on apps by the average iPhone customer v the average Android customer. The profit margins are in sold apps, right?
      HollywoodDog
      • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

        @HollywoodDog "Is there evidence of people trading in their iPhones for Android?" Yes, there is. Most of it anectodal, but nearly everyone I know is dropping their iPhone and going with the Droid X...

        BTW, It is going to be interesting to see the reaction to the Windows Phone 7's having no call issues on AT&T while the iPhones users continue suffering through dropped calls and network performance and Apple is no longer able to blame the 'carrier' for their badly implemented phone functionality that they added to their music device...
        dennisbeatty
      • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

        dennisbeatty@,

        Droid X rocks :)
        bmonsterman
    • RE: Seven new things to know about Windows Phone 7

      So, Mister Senior Microsoft Engineer, how exactly does Microsoft "understand apps," and "get developers to write" and "use that relationship to bury their competition ..... Apple and Google .... "?

      If the apps are simply better, then that is surely good for everyone. If not, what do you mean by "using that relationship to bury their competition"? Does that refer to how Windows became successful?
      Andrew Sheppard