Windows Phone 7 (Microsoft)
What is Windows Phone 7?
Windows Phone 7, or as it is also know – WP7, is Microsoft’s new take on their Mobile Operating System (OS) and the newest Mobile OS to hit the markets. Released late October 2010, it is a much needed upgrade (and improvement) on their old Mobile Operating Sytem – Windows Mobile. While the name’s might sound similar, the OS are in no way similar. While the previous OS (Windows Mobile) was aimed mainly at business users, the newer WP7 is aimed at the consumer market, and the business market.
The new WP7 OS has been met by rave reviews from Critics and the Public itself, for their bold new look and innovative OS. The Operating Systems User Interface (how it looks and feels) is organised in a ’tile based interface’ where different applications or programs that are ‘pinned’ on the start screen are shown. (See mobile picture)
Certain ‘Tiles’ have what is called Live View, meaning that picture’s constantly change on the tile itself. As of now the Live Tile feature is only limited to 6 tiles (called Hubs) – People, Pictures, Email (outlook), Games, Music + Video, and Office (the mobile based version of Microsoft Office). More detail on Hubs soon.
WP7 also boasts deep Facebook integration into the phone, and all contacts are based around Facebook contacts, as well as contacts who you do not have on Facebook. WP7 also links into their own Media Based Player – Zune (which is their answer to iTunes). Apps can be downloaded from Zune, as well as Music and Videos.
As with Android, Microsoft does not build the actual phones, but the Operating System only. Current Companies that manufacture WP7 phones are – Dell, HTC, LG, Samsung, (and coming soon are Nokia, Acer, ZTE, and Fujitsu). More might be announced soon.
Advantages of Windows Phone 7?
Strict Hardware Requirements – Microsoft has given phone makers strict requirements (unlike Android) for how fast the phone should be, so no matter what phone you buy, you will be getting a fast phone that can run the Windows Phone 7 OS perfectly.
Zune Pass (in certain countries) – Unlimited download of music from Zune Marketplace for $14.99 a month (You get to keep 10 songs permanently, and the rest of the songs for the remainder of your subscription).
Strong Xbox 360 connectivity within the phone, including a Xbox app and the ability to customize your Online Avatar on the go.
Live Tiles – Ability to see information on your home screen without having to open the App.
Disadvantages of Windows Phone 7?
The Zune Marketplace isn’t quite as big as the iTunes store, and despite it being the second biggest, it is still lacking in comparison.
Basic features like Custom Ringtones, Lack of proper multitasking (like iphone), are missing from Wp7, however they are coming in an update soon.
It is still a new OS, so bugs are to be expected, after all Apple’s iOS was filled with bugs when they first released the iPhone, but the fact remains that the OS is still a little immature. It will get better with time, especially with Mango around the corner.
A few screenshots of what Windows Phone 7 looks like
The People ‘Hub’
This is the screen you will get when you click on the ‘People’ Tile. The view you get is what is displayed on the phone. The picture here is stretched out to show what scrolling to the left or right will get you. The People ‘Hub’ is heavily integrated with Facebook, and when you pull a contact information up, you will have all their Facebook details in one place.
The Games ‘Hub’
The Games ‘Hub’ is where you will find all your Game Applications. It is also heavily integrated with the Xbox ‘Live’ Service, where you can customize your avatar, keep track of your Gamer Points, and more.
The Office ‘Hub’
The Office ‘Hub’ is the exact same Office experience, but on your mobile phone.
Want a Windows Phone 7 Demo?
Click on the link to get a direct demo of the Windows Phone 7 from the Windows Australia Facebook Fan page!
Unofficial Windows Phone 7 Ad!