Posted by: kurtsh | February 19, 2010

NEWS: Microsoft announces “Windows Phone 7 Series” at Mobile World Congress


Blah blah blah.  Press announcement.  Blah blah blah.  Video clips.  Blah blah blah.  Windows Phone Blogs.  BLARGH.  Now then.  The $64 question is:

“What the heck is Windows Phone 7 Series and why should I care?”


First of all, we’re getting away from one concept that we tried earlier:  The Phone Is NOT a PC.  Apparently, after 10 years in the industry, we’ve come to the conclusion that for the mass market consumer, you can’t shoehorn the PC model – either the user interface or the traditional “I can do anything” usage paradigm into the phone form factor.

  • On a PC, you have precision with a mouse & keyboard – On a Phone, you have the inaccuracy of a finger & sometimes a thumb keyboard
  • On a PC, you’re focused mostly on the PC & it’s interface – On a Phone, you’re more than likely multitasking, be it walking, driving, etc.
  • On a PC, you have lots of display space (“screen real estate”) – On a Phone, you have only a few thing you can display at a time, regardless of resolution
  • On a PC, you expect limitless capabilities – On a Phone, you expect to commonly use some very specific capabilities
  • On a PC, you have endless bandwidth – On a Phone, you have 3G bandwidth

…and it goes on and on.  We’ve tried and met some success to merge these two worlds together:  The best of your PC with you on your Phone.  Windows Mobile 6.53 is that effort and for 18% of the market, it does a solid job of providing both that PC functionality using a PC usage paradigm in the compact form factor of the phone.

For the average consumer however there just isn’t that expectation.  Our studies have shown that consumers generally want & expect a very focused and consistent set of functionality.  And that functionality should be immediately available at the user’s fingertips, woven into every single object that the phone stores.

Thus our focus on Windows Phone 7 Series has revolved around two principles:

  • User-centric design
    • Personal experience – Information specifically pertinent to you & you alone presented up front
    • Multi-touch for maps


    • Desktop IE – With Silverlight coming, Adobe announces Flash support as well
    • Beyond Cleartype – Uses new pixel-positioning technology for improved character clarity
    • Outlook – Multi-select w/ attachment view/edit support
    • “Hubs”
      • People – Outlook, Facebook, Gmail.  View w/ Facebook & Twitter integration
      • Pictures – PC sync & cloud sync access (Facebook, Flikr)
      • Office – OneNote view, Sharepoint view
      • Music & Video – EVERY 7 SERIES PHONE WILL BE A ZUNE
        (Music, Video, Podcast, Audiobook, Radio, Marketplace… Pandora integration!)
      • Marketplace – Find & load certified applications & games
      • Games – Xbox LIVE, Gamercard, In-game notifications, current activity
  • Integrated experience
    • Calendar – Overlay of RED personal calendar (WindowsLive) & BLUE professional calendar (Exchange)


    • Browser – Detection of phone numbers & addresses to click-to-send to dialer or Bing Maps
    • GPS – Autolocate and send to Bing Maps; find regional restaurants
    • HW Partners –Qualcomm, LG, Samsung, Garmin, HTC, HP, Dell, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba
      (Provide keyboards, slates, big, small… however with a consistent experience)
    • Carriers – T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Vodafone, Orange, Telefonica, SFR, Telstra, Deutche-Telecom
    • Microsoft – More accountability for the end-to-end experience (Setting minimum hardware, design & features requirements)

One thing that was important:  We will continue to invest in Windows Mobile 6.5 as the defacto platform for Enterprise customers.

Now what we did NOT show?
Equally important was what we chose not to show at Mobile World Congress.  It is said that more will be learned over time, and in particular at MIX, our developer event in Vegas.  But to enumerate through what was not discussed or shown:

  • Phone Dialer & Integration
  • Applications
  • Marketplace
  • Games & Xbox LIVE integration
  • Development Tools


Gizmodo articles:

Engadget review


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