Windows Phone 7 Series. It’s a lot to say, but brings a lot to the mobile computing scene. Windows Phone 7 will bring a Zune-influenced UI, and has completely ditched Windows Mobile touches all together. Windows Mobile is dead. Windows Phone 7 Series has come to life. Debuted at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft wants to be a major player, and partnerships with carriers and manufacturers is far and wide: AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, while hardware partners include Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm.
Third-party handsets will not appear at MWC, but Microsoft is showing off its dev units of unknown originality. A main feature that will be present in all Windows Phone 7 Series phones is a high res touchscreen, three front-facing buttons (back, start, and perhaps a Bing key), and minor additions from the handsets themselves. Besides this, there will be strict requirements for specs in the phones (CPU speed, memory, resolution, aspect ratio, multitouch, and even button placement), and 3rd party UIs no more. No TouchWiz 3.0, no Sense UI.
As for social integration, it will be like XBOX on a phone, with LIVE games, avatars, and profiles, all being present, and also things like the Zune HD’s FM Radio. Social networking will get you integrated contact pages which will be present on the new “tile” UI. These “tiles” will be widgets, shortcuts, links to contacts, and all scroll vertically. As for the Outlook email app, which of course has support for Exchange, makes Blackberry email users look questionable.
The browser is Internet Explorer, and will not be as fast as Apple’s Mobile Safari, but will have multitouch right out of the box. Last but not least, all Windows Marketplace apps from previous versions will not be compatible in Windows Phone 7 Series. Sorry devs, it’s for the better. But the new Marketplace will still be where you download apps, once they’re available.
All in all I am in awe from Windows Phone 7 Series, and now we officially have 3 main players in the smartphone market — Apple, Google, and — Microsoft. Windows Phone will debut this holiday season in handsets that support it. Press release after the jump.
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