Published on October 12th,2010 at 11:47 AM
By >Akihabara News Team

Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7

Yesterday was the official launch of the much awaited Window Phone 7, the successor and replacement of the ancient and often cumbersome Windows Mobile. Announced yesterday, the new smartphone OS is already setting the tech world afire with speculations, enthusiasm and criticism. “User friendly” was the goal, did they reach it?

Live Tiles and Hubs

Right from the the start screen, the change in mindset is obvious. The Live Tiles, “quickly customized and constantly updated” as Microsoft put it, seem like a fairly efficient way to keep all necessary info within reach: emails, appointments, news, weather announcements — you name it, Live Tiles has it.

Windows 7 Mobile, unlike say, iOS or Android, is organized in “Hubs” rather than in apps: in non-Microsoft vernacular, we’d call those “hubs” categories. Clearly, here Microsoft is aiming for the non-geek segment of the population and trying out a new approach: sorting applications according to how people think of them rather than keeping them independent. Whether the more tech-savvy crowd will take to this “all-in-one” approach remains to be seen, but I’m pretty sure most people will appreciate the simplicity. Also, multitouch support!

Two very dark points: no multitasking and no copy/paste. Yes, seriously. (Apparently an update to add simple text copy/past is on the way, though we’re not holding our breaths.)

Social networking

Under the Hub “People”, you find Facebook profiles mingling with phone numbers and email addresses, enabling users to dial a contact, post Facebook updates or replies, change their Windows Live status or whatever — all in a single app.

I just have one question, really: Where the devil is integrated Twitter support?

Internet and apps: true and tried classics

As far internet browsing goes, better brace yourselves folks, Internet Explorer ain’t going anywhere. But cheer up: Windows Phone 7 also brings Office and Outlook in its bags, and if the hands-on reviews are anything to go by, both apps look pretty fab. The integrated calendar makes the iPhone version seem tragically drab in comparison! There’s also a seamless search function, but well, it’s Bing. Whether you find that a good thing or not depends greatly on your opinion of Microsoft’s search engine, but the option to use voice commands sounds neat (here in Japan we’re wondering how well they’ll export the very localized searches, though).

Gaming: Xbox LIVE on the go

The Games hub is actually the Xbox LIVE service, except on your phone. Don’t expect to play Red Dead Redemption on your Windows Phone any time soon, though – more like Bejeweled Live or Uno, and yes, EA star-products like the Sims 3 or Need for Speed. Still, you can log in with your Xbox LIVE account, unlock achievements and play online with your friends.

Media player: Windows is in the Zune

Not unlike the iPod app on the iPhone (okay, totally like it), the Music and Video Hub is simply the Zune HD, with all that implies. At any rate, you can listen to your favorite songs and playlists as well as FM radio or podcasts, watch TV series and movies. And DRM-ed music on demand is available for a monthly subscription fee.

Marketplace Hub: all your shopping in one place

Microsoft intends to make the most of its homegrown iStore by streamlining the buying process as much as possible: music, videos, apps, games all in one place, with one-click billing to your credit card or (clever little devils that they are!) directly to your phone bill.

Pictures and camera

Well, it’s a camera. It takes pictures and sorts them into folders. All sarcasm aside, apparently it can take pictures even when the phone is locked, which sounds pretty nifty to me (taking pics with an iPhone is *not* what I’d call a fun experience).

Overall? Windows Mobile 7 is a definite step toward usability and user-friendliness, interactivity and aesthetics — hindered by somewhat unexplainable missing features, like multitasking, copy/paste or seamless Twitter integration. If they correct those mistakes before launch, Microsoft could cause serious headaches to Apple and Google in the near future. Just sayin’.

Category Phones Software
              
Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7
Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7
Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7Windows Mobile is dead, long live Windows Phone 7
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Comments
 

  • http://www.fanboy-confidential.com InterestedParty

    A little disappointed that the model I wanted isn’t on the carrier I wanted it for. I’m debating whether to switch carriers or just settle for what my carrier has.

  • jbondsr

    My question is:
    Why has there been no buzz from Japanese cell phone providers about Windows Phone 7?

    I would think that Microsoft Japan would seriously be pushing for it.
    Also, will the Kinect coming out this holiday season and Windows 7 already receiving great praise, why not show people the level of connectivity with Windows 7, Xbox Live, and Windows Phone 7?

    I’m surprised Dell hasn’t done anything too. If I were them, I would approach someone like Softbank and offer deals like “Buy a Dell Windows Phone 7 device on a 2 year contract, and get a Dell Mini for $100.”

    Seems like Microsoft Japan only focuses on it’s OS and prioritary software sales.
    Don’t know how they can afford to keep other departments open when they fail to advertise. (Xbox 360 advertising is abysmal here in Tokyo.)

    • Dave

      Because, current release of windows phone 7 does not support Japanese language.
      I am sure once it starts supporting the language, Japanese carrier will launch the devices. But you have to wait till mid of 2011 as per my guess.

  • http://justreveal.wordpress.com syaopang

    omnia7 is a killer..

  • idolmaster

    wtf
    no multitasking!!

    • TyberiusJ

      To be honest, there is multitasking just not for 3rd party apps without going through the approval process. My Evo is AWESOME until the battery dies because I’ve got 4 things running in the background. This will stop that from happening. Music Apps do stream in the background as well as the marketplace.

      Could be awesome. Time will tell.

  • salem

    chat but chat

 

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