MWC 2010: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 Series with Xbox and Zune integration
It comes as no surprise that Microsoft revealed their next generation mobile operating system at MWC. They are showing that they are here to stay though with a rather exciting platform that should appeal to consumers and the enterprise customer.
It comes as no surprise to anyone that Microsoft finally made their Windows Mobile 7 plans public at MWC this morning. The name of their next generation devices is Windows Phone 7 Series. Microsoft started naming their device Windows Phones last year in a rather ineffective campaign that hasn't yet seemed to stick with consumers. By stating Windows Phone 7 as a series it gives us the impression that we will see multiple types of devices and platforms designed for a number of people. The press release is quite vague about what to expect in this next generation hardware, but we will see Xbox LIVE games, Zune music and video, and a dedicated Bing button on future devices. The experiences of Windows Phone 7 Series are organized around Windows Phone hubs that will bring you different content, applications and services. Check out the Windows Phone 7 Series image gallery that I will continue to update as screenshots and images are released by Microsoft and partners.
In the press release, Microsoft stated there will be six hubs on Windows Phone 7 Series devices, including:
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.
It is good to see Microsoft finally focusing a bit on the consumer, while still also providing support for the enterprise user who really does need Office support on the go. I am excited to see more details on Windows Phone 7 Series and think it is way too early for people to count Microsoft out of the smartphone game. They have the resources and appear to now have rekindled desire to compete with the latest and greatest platforms. You can follow Windows Phone 7 Series and receive more information from the Windows Phone 7 Series site.
Unfortunately, we won't see any of these Windows Phone 7 Series devices until holiday season (November/December) 2010. I think Microsoft could have made a huge splash if they had devices ready to go at MWC or shortly after and a wait of 10 months is a bit frustrating for people like me who want to see Windows Phone devices with the latest and greatest operating system.
Partners committed to this platform include 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.
Check out the videos below showing off the different aspects of Windows Phone 7 Series.