Latest mobile gadgets: Hands on at MWC

Latest mobile gadgets: Hands on at MWC

Summary: Photos: From smartphones to smartbooks, designer kit to eye-controlled earphones...

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TOPICS: Mobility
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  • Photos: From smartphones to smartbooks, designer kit to eye-controlled earphones...

    Mobile World Congress - the world's biggest mobile phone trade show - takes place in the Fira de Barcelona exhibition space in Spain (pictured above).

    This year's event saw around 49,000 attendees - up slightly on last year when 47,000 mobile industry professionals walked through the door. More than 1,300 exhibitors showed off their wares this year but there were a few high-profile absentees: Nokia, which set up a press and analyst meeting area just around the corner from the Fira inside Once - the National Organisation of the Spanish Blind (see photo below), and LG which paid a flying visit with an off-site press pavilion.

    Two high-profile mobile companies with no presence inside or outside Congress were Palm - and of course Apple, which only participates in its own conferences.

    Nokia's meeting area outside MWC

    Nokia set up camp outside MWC - but there was no mobile hardware on show, just chit-chat

    Photo credits: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

  • The star of this year's show was arguably Microsoft - which unveiled the next generation of its Windows Mobile OS - a completely overhauled operating system dubbed 7 Series including an elegant new-look UI that integrates with a variety of third-party web services, such as Facebook and X-Box live.

    Michael Chang, senior product manager at Microsoft, confirmed 7 Series has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. The look of the new UI draws from Microsoft's Zune HD MP3 player interface but Chang said Nike was also involved in the design process. 7 Series devices won't be able to be skinned with a proprietary UI by device manufacturers as Microsoft is keen to preserve the look and feel of its next-gen smartphones.

    At MWC Microsoft demoed an early build of the OS running on a prototype handset which silicon.com got its hands on - pictured above and below. Devices running 7 Series will be in the market in time for Christmas, according to CEO Steve Ballmer.

    "We hope 7's our lucky number," he said.

    Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Series prototype at MWC

    Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Series UI has a strong social networking flavour

    Photo credits: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Topic: Mobility

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