Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer unveiled the new Windows Phone 7 platform showcasing the 4 device partners set at an AT&T conference this week. Microsoft Phone 7 vision comes 7 years after the first smartphone release but focused more to reflect our modern lifestyles by allowing the user to get more done in fewer steps by getting the user “in, out and back to life.”

“Windows Phone 7 is a big bet for Microsoft, and we think, for the industry,” says Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Division. “We focused on three things: making a phone that’s easy to use, rich end-to-end experiences, and building great hardware and software together.”

Microsoft Phone 7 share the green animated Live Tiles “so you can quickly see everything you care about”  to reflect pending messages, appointments, news & weather or game & friend status, all refreshing wirelessly so you always have the most current information available at all times. The user can change colors, pin people/apps/playlists/pictures and other favorites so they’re always at your Start screen.

  • The People Hub brings your contacts (phone book, email address, Facebook) all together in one place that makes it easier to update your status, change your profile picture across multi-networking sites at the same time from your phone with the innovative “The Me” card.
  • The Pictures Hub houses your entire collection including the opportunity to automatically sync all of your photos from your pc, save the photos on your phone and those that your friends have posted and you’re even able to take pictures even with the phone locked so you never miss the perfect moment again.
  • Office Hub provides full mobile versions of Word, Excel, and Power Point. OneNote allows you to take notes during meetings, make lists, keep track of random thoughts on your phone and access them from your PC later. OneNote syncs wirelessly and can even include voice clips and pictures all with the ability to share with coworkers.
  • The Games Hub provides you with the ability to play Xbox Live from your phone as well as access other games, sync music wirelessly from your pc, apps, view TV shows, movies, pod casts on a hi-resolution screen, stream/download from the Marketplace Superstore which is available on either your pc or phone with one-click billing, purchase directly to your phone bill. As a user you can create custom playlists, recommend music to friends, enjoy the built-in FM radio and optional Zune pass subscription for unlimited music is available for a low monthly fee.

“Ending bad phone behavior with better phone design.”

Todd Peters, corporate vice president of Microsoft Mobile Communications Marketing Group said “Microsoft thinks there is a better Smartphone experience….By designing a better way to organize all that information Windows Phone 7 helps people get to the stuff that is most important to them – easier and faster.”

Internet Explorer allows up to 6 tabs with the ability to toggle between them making browsing a cinch; scroll with a flick of a finger and zoom with a pinch much like other Smartphone’s we are already familiar with.  The address bar suggests as you type and does web searches that allows you to tap the phone or addresses to either call or map quickly. Search Bing for web, maps, turn-by-turn directions down to the street level look at your final destination, with the optional voice search if for those days when you just need a little help.

Emailing is easy with Outlook Mobile which is streamlined to work with Windows Live, Google, Yahoo! and other popular providers that also support multiple Microsoft exchange accounts for work.  You are able to combine both personal and work in a single, color-coded Calendar making it easier to manage your time. Map appointment locations with a single tap and if you happen to get stuck in traffic there is one touch pre-written “I’m running late” email sent.

The “Find my phone” service on Windows Live gives the owner an opportunity to log into Windows Live from any pc to remotely ring, lock, erase, show location on a map or post a “please return to me” note on the screen for those panic induced times all without requiring any additional paid services or apps.

According to who got the chance to actually experience each of the devices, the Samsung Focus ranked the most impressive for AT&T’s selection, with the Dell as the favorite for the T-Mobile option with workable keyboard, and full of custom apps provided by T-Mobile. The HTC HD7 will also be carried by T-Mobile providing a 4.3” screen, the largest screen of the Microsoft phones. Each of the new phones with the Windows 7 phone software will run on the Qualcomm 1-GHz QSD8250 chipset which provides ample speed to the carriers. All of the new phones will share similar hardware such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a minimum 5 megapixel camera.

Windows Phone 7 Device Lineup

“We’re going to have the biggest TV marketing campaign in the history of the mobile business, with the ads running on shows such as “Hawaii Five-O”, “Bones”, “Saturday Night Live” as well as late-night talk shows. The holiday season is coming and the ads will be running frequently. If you don’t see them, then we’re not doing our jobs” said Peters.

The Microsoft enabled phones will be available at AT&T, T-Mobile, select Microsoft stores and Amazon November 8, 2010. Sprint is set to release Microsoft Phone 7 devices early 2011.

About The Author

Sarah Mullins is Blast's Automotive Editor

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