Forget what you though you knew, Microsoft are back in the mobile game…and in a pretty big way!
Above is an image of the new Windows Mobile or “Windows Phone 7 Series” as it’s now known.
Each “tile” is a “hub” which connects the user to various elements…you can see the Xbox Live tile which is pretty exciting! The tiles are all live so will display updated info from the web as appropriate. Even from that 1 picture you can see that the UI (User Interface) is VASTLY improved over all previous versions of Windows Mobile with Phone, Test messages, email, pictures, people and more all available from one screen. One of my biggest gripes with WinMo 6.1 was the number of menus I had to navigate through just to do something simple like look at a picture.
It’s integrated into Social Media like never before with the ability to update Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter etc all from one location and making it easy for users to easily share & upload media such as pictures to Flickr, Twitter and more. This video shows off some of the great new features:
The buzz around this new Redmond release is one of the most surprising, and nice to see, things about this whole launch. Both end users and gadget sites such as Gizmodo and Engadget are really behind this:
First Windows 7 had huge support from almost everyone and now less than 6 months later, Windows Phone 7 does the same thing…MS have really turned things around! I think a lot of those calls for Steve B to step down will be taken back now :-)
This is the one thing I really wanted to see in WP7S and it’s been delivered…Zune is now the media player inside Microsoft’s Mobile platform. I’ve been using the Zune desktop software for quite some time now and it is truly brilliant (see my post here) and the experience on the Zune HD seems comparable. It’s so much smoother and sexier that Windows Media Player and I really love that it synchronizes your track play count between desktop and device :-)
Me & Windows Phone 7
I’m really excited about Windows Phone 7 Series. I’ve been waiting for it for years…ever since I got a Windows Mobile 5 device in a way…and now it’s here. Well not quite…it’s been announced but devices aren’t going to start shipping until October and that makes me feel better about my situation…which is…I’ve got an Android phone!
Yep that’s right…I’m a huge user of Microsoft products, both software and hardware, and have been using Windows Mobile for over 3 years. However, when my contract cam up for renewal a few months ago I had a choice to make:
a) Keep trudging along with Windows Mobile 6.1 for another year? (My HTC not being eligible for an upgrade to 6.5).
b) Look at another platform such as iPhone or Android?
I was, at first, planning on sticking with WinMo out of loyalty to Microsoft but decided that, as a consumer, I deserved a phone that was fun, easy to use, cool and adaptable to me and my lifestyle. For that I looked at Android and picked up the HTC Hero…I am happier with this phone than any of my previous devices (see post here).
If Windows Mobile 7 (as I may well continue to call it) had been released to buy this week then I would have waited. As it is, I’ll have fun with my Android device, especially once I get the 2.1 update (pleeaaase HTC!) but will definitely be checking out a Windows device in the summer of 2011. Saying that makes it seem SO far away :-)
If you’re looking for a new phone around October time, definitely go and check out Windows Phone 7 Series.