Posted by Simpur | Posted in Microsoft, Mobile Phones, MP3 Players | Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has always been an avenue for mobile developers to showcase their new products, and as much as they've all tried to compete with Apple's iPhone - arguably the most popular phone in the past three years - they've usually failed. Until now.
Apple's desktop computer rival Microsoft on Monday officially waved goodbye to their arguably un-user-friendly Windows Mobile OS by unveiling a brand new, fresh operating system called the "Windows Phone 7 Series", which will appear on major phones towards the end of this year.
Windows Phone 7 is surprisingly different from what we're used to seeing from the usually boring, complicated interfaces that come from Microsoft. Gone are the hard-to-read tiny fonts - all of which have been replaced by beautiful, oversized text and graphics that flip, pan, scroll and zoom from screen to screen when you interact with them - producing a kind of cutting edge crispness that makes it look incredibly modern.
Animations aside, Windows Phone 7 features a very useful, and seemingly very usable interface that among others, provides the stuff that's important to you right on the Start screen - which can easily be customized with "live tiles".
Your contacts, photos, games and music are easily accessible, and perhaps more importantly now, you're easily connected to your social networks - the phone lets you view a real-time stream of updates from the likes of Facebook and Windows Live, and hopefully Twitter by the time it gets released.
Gamers too will welcome the phone's integration with Xbox Live where they'll be able to show off their achievements and gamer points for the games that they play on the phone, which will be tied back to the games on their Xbox 360.
Hardware-wise, Microsoft will be "taking more accountability" for people's experiences - a move that hopefully will prevent us from having to deal with Windows Mobile-like crappy experiences.
Unlike what they did with Windows Mobile, this time they've given phone hardware manufacturers a strict set of minimum requirements: a capacitive, multitouch screen with at least four points of touch, an accelerometer, a 5-megapixel camera, FM Radio, etc. There are even serious benchmarks that have to be met.
Microsoft have announced that they're working with Qualcomm, LG, Samsung, Garmin Asus, HTC, HP, Dell, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba, so expect some great phones from them come the end of the year.
Product Page: Windows Phone 7 Series