Windows Phone 7 launch event

Microsoft is banking on their lucky number 7 today. In a dual launch event in both London and New York, Microsoft officially kicked off their newest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7. Microsoft CEO Ballmer took the stage to (admittedly lackluster) applause and voiced his excitement over the differences that WP7 brings to the industry. He brought up two main points that the OS was going to focus on: wonderfully delightful, and wonderfully mine. He emphasized the diversity and personalization that the device offering features. See our overview of the various launch devices here. He seemed to contrast Android’s problems with software segmentation by pointing out while there are different hardware choices to suit many tastes, the software experience would be consistent throughout.

Ralph De La Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, took the stage and announced the details of the Microsoft/AT&T partnership. He announced three new phones from Samsung and HTC and that they would become the “cornerstones of AT&T’s smartphone lineup.” The phones will all be available in November.

The much anticipated AT&T U-Verse Mobile was announced. AT&T is bringing their successful cable offering to the mobile world by offering the entertainment capabilities of your U-Verse cable setup on your WP7 mobile device. No details were discussed regarding the details of the implementation of this feature.

Joe Belfiore, a key developer on the WP7 team, took the stage to walk the attendees through the finer details of the final product. The experience is based around hubs, where different functions are organized depending and when and how you want to access them. Hardware buttons, unlike on Android phones, are consistent across all hardware. He went through the various hub tiles he put on his own phone, focusing on the social networking and entertainment capabilities of the system. He demonstrated the ease of which you can customize your phone and all the various hubs and activities. It’s not only easy, but it’s also fast. He showed how fast it is to open the camera, snap a picture and access that photo while still in viewfinder mode to share it, save it, etc.

He then focused on the messaging hub. He panned through various Exchange folders and opened an attachment, displaying some of the Office apps built in the phone, which he promised were more powerful and robust than other solutions on the market. Belfiore also talked about text entry. He typed very fast and showed the correction tools that WP7 employs.

The search tool is (obviously) powered by Bing. The search experience is supposed to help you make decisions instead of just giving you list of links. Searching for Thai food will automatically predict that you’re looking for a restaurant, but you can swipe to web results if that’s not what you’re looking for. The voice search uses the Microsoft cloud to analyze voice instead of processing on the phone. Unfortunately, as shown at the event, if you don’t have access to the cloud, you can’t use the full capabilities of voice search.

He then moved on to hubs. There are 6 main hubs. The people hub is a contacts hub that allows you to find information on the various people in your phone. It integrates all kinds of social networking tools, like Facebook and Twitter, as well as simple calling and messaging actions. It links services together to build a rich contact experience, with photos and other relevant info.

The pictures hub displays your pictures, of course, but it also shows pictures pulled in from your social feed as well as synchronizes from PC sources.

The Office hub is dedicated to MS Office and its new mobile capabilities. It has OneNote and Sharepoint functionality, which are two important business needs currently not met by many mobile offerings. The OneNote app syncs OneNote content in real time from your PC or web-based OneNote client to you phone.

The Music hub is basically the Zune UI. It’s a smooth, slick interface that organizes your mucic and video content. It integrates third party services like YouTube and iheartradio directly into the Music hub interface to streamline the online music experience. The Zune Pass was displayed, along with the rich search capabilities that the service allows.

He segued into apps, and the various applications becoming developed by third parties for the WP7 platform.  He showed off the EBay and iMDB apps. They were nicely integrated into the whole WP7 look and feel, and looked very nice on the big screen. He showed off U-Verse mobile, demonstrating the on-demand entertainment options that the service supplies.

The Games hub features robust Xbox 360 Live integration. WP7 games, and the activity of the user, will all be synced with your overall XBL profile. Your avatar is fully featured and customizable from your phone. Belfiore played some games on the phone. He announced EA as an official gaming partner in WP7, and announced The Sims as a launch title. The games displayed were developed using the XNA gaming development platform. The games performed admirably as far as visuals go, and featured fully capable XBL capabilities such as achievements.

He ended his presentation with the announcement of a copy and paste update to the OS in early 2011, a feature many people requested.

Ballmer got back on stage and concluded with a video presentation of different hardware manufacturers voicing their optimism in the new WP7 platform.

Specifics about the various launch devices can be found here, and stay tuned for a hands-on review from Tom Warren.

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I am jumping in...to buy a HTC Mozart...(if price variation isnt that big, i can go with HTC HD 7)...
Hope MS sales number will prove and hold good in upcoming Q'earnings

I know WP7 is important but does the frontpage really need ten out of the sixteen stories relating to it? And yes, it's just as bad when the frontpage is dominated by stories about Apple. Perhaps a single 'Featured' page with links to all the separate stories would be more appropriate, as it's starting to make the site look like a PR mouthpiece for Microsoft.

este said,
Is it just going to be available thru AT&T ? At least for now ?

In the states? It will be on T-Mobile as well at launch. CDMA support will come in the first half of the year (I'm assuming in the first big update), and with that will come the launch on Sprint and Verizon. That's what I have to wait for as well.

M_Lyons10 said,

In the states? It will be on T-Mobile as well at launch. CDMA support will come in the first half of the year (I'm assuming in the first big update), and with that will come the launch on Sprint and Verizon. That's what I have to wait for as well.

Nice. Yeah same here, I am a current BlackBerry user... If this works out well perhaps I will look into getting a HTC 7 Pro somewhere down the line.

este said,
Nice. Yeah same here, I am a current BlackBerry user... If this works out well perhaps I will look into getting a HTC 7 Pro somewhere down the line.

Yeah, it's disapointing, but what can you do. I simply cannot wait for a WP7 device and have been holding on to my old phone waiting for it. I know that Microsoft is very serious about WP7 as a platform and is clearly putting a lot of work into it to meed the needs of users (They already got removable storage support, cut and paste is on its way, multi-tasking is apparently in the works for 3rd party apps, etc.). I'm sure CDMA support is at the top of their list and so I guess I can wait. Even if it's killing me... LOL

I didn't get to see the whole conference yet, I came in on the part where the guy who developed the Metro UI for Zune was talking about the hubs. Much of what he did, he already showed not very long ago in a previous conference about Windows Phone 7.

It was nice to see a TRUE working phone vs a beta device he had before. Thanks to the Qualcomm platform, I can see for the very first time in Windows Mobile history, the phone is fast enough to handle the hardware.

I am curious to know, what is the size of the footprint of the software driving the phone. iOS takes up 500MB of space as an example.

I am looking so forward to dumping my iPhone 4. I really hate I dropped my 3rd line from my VZW account to get this time waster. But at Christmas I will be buying a WP7 outright. I want to give the phone makers time to release a few before I finalize. But I am wanting a great device from HTC. All of my pass Windows Mobile phones were from HTC with the exception of to. I tried the Sprint Motorola Q which sucked balls, and I had an older Palm Treo 700WX which I still have. I did love my VZW HTC TouchPro2, but the software was to overwhelming for the 524Mhz CPU.

I will just sell my iPhone 4 and replace it with the new Touch and just go back to carrying 2 devices again. Which is why I got the phone in the first place, I didn't want to carry 2 devices.

So they announced copy/paste. To me it really wasn't a big deal. With the way the phone is setup, I don't see a huge need for it. I am sure many won't even use it much. I think they were just bitchin just liek they did when Apple released iPhone without it.

Xbox Live looks really good. The 3D on the phone looks awespme. Looks better than any game I played on iPhone/Touch. The iphone games look likt the old Nintendo 8bit games. BORING!

I can't wait to integrate Sharepoint for our business.
Seamless integration has always been a high point with Microsoft vs popularity. It looks like they did that very well. And if they can get consumers to pick these phones up and not just businessmen/women they will do quite well.

I think the Metro UI will be a game changer for MSFT. I am so tired of the boring lined up PC like display I see with iOS, Android and Blackberry OS. Even tho both of those platforms are ok, Android is cerntainly the better of the 3. At least with Android I ccan place the icons the way I want them to be. Not like iOS which forces them to line up. That is so childish.

I think Microsoft did a very good job. The phone UI is certainly different and I love the way they integrated Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

I would say it is worth the wait. I rather they wait and get it right, then rush and get it wrong. Anyone who keeps basjing MSFT saying they are late to the game is just stupid. Apple was also late to the smartphone game, so was Android and they both are doing quite well.

I think MSFT has at least hit a 3 run homer with this and I think MSFT will end up in 3rd place before it is all over.

It was nice to see Ballmer toned down and not skipping across the stage like an idiot. He was compose and very business-like and I like that.

What woudl have really been cool, is if Bill Gates came and introduced the new phones.

TechieXP said,
II can't wait to integrate Sharepoint for our business.
Seamless integration has always been a high point with Microsoft vs popularity. It looks like they did that very well. And if they can get consumers to pick these phones up and not just businessmen/women they will do quite well.

How to do it? What they showed was OneNote stored in "Live" site only. I did not see any mention to sync Office docs with desktop or remote interaction with servers. Others than Exchange.

Was a great demo a few touched up features there. Clean experience and very fast. Typing and the scrolling through those emails were impressive.

Some of the 3rd party apps, imdb looked great.

Games, very nice. Accessorising my avatar...um okay

Phone options atm for me are a little disappointing, only Dell Vue, Omnia 7 and HTC Pro (2011) suit my style choices but plenty of devices for others and alot of ppl seem to be orgasming over the HD7 (dell is still the most interesting device imo)

Copy and paste is a great first use of the new update facility.

The real question all of this should bring to the forefront, given the final WP7's very rich consumer experience is why oh WHY is MS not putting this on tablets/slates. You have a rich consumer OS, responsive system, and an OS built for touch on a platform that would provide battery life on par with ipad. Seriously, windows 7 with current technology (hardware and the way the OS is just isnt happening) let it go and accept WP7 tablets would kick arse

dhan said,
copy&paste is not at launch but "early 2011"

I was expecting the first update to hit between January and March of 2011, so this is a nice surprise and shows how much they're listening. Though they've been saying that it's coming since PDC back in June? Now my only question is what other things this first "big" update will bring with it?

GP007 said,

I was expecting the first update to hit between January and March of 2011, so this is a nice surprise and shows how much they're listening. Though they've been saying that it's coming since PDC back in June? Now my only question is what other things this first "big" update will bring with it?

Who knows? It's so exciting really.

- CDMA support?
- SQL support for 3rd party apps?
- Deep integration of Twitter (And possibly other social sites)?
- Possibly even multi-tasking for 3rd party apps. I was never in the camp that expected this soon, but at the WP7 event I went to they said that it has actually been IN nightlies... So it's there, just not done...

Honestly, I think we can expect big things from these updates.

Xypro said,

You know there never gonna put copy and paste, its such an outdated mind of thinking, WP7 uses smart sense, something better the copy and paste.

Check it out, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvycHOHLatI

That won't be enough. It works in those situations but not if you just want to copy some select text within a larger body of text. They'll have to implement full copy and paste. I suspect that they're trying to find a method to implement it, that doesn't infringe on iOS and Android patents.

asdavis10 said,

That won't be enough. It works in those situations but not if you just want to copy some select text within a larger body of text. They'll have to implement full copy and paste. I suspect that they're trying to find a method to implement it, that doesn't infringe on iOS and Android patents.

Well, Copy and Paste was in Windows Mobile, and is in every version of Windows out there. I'm sure if there's a patent Microsoft has it...

I think it looks all very promising for Windows Phone 7. If I didn't have to upgrade 5 months ago, I would have waited and picked one up as soon as it was released.

I know a few people who are looking into picking one up when it is released who were previously on iPhone.

dave164 said,
I think it looks all very promising for Windows Phone 7. If I didn't have to upgrade 5 months ago, I would have waited and picked one up as soon as it was released.

I know a few people who are looking into picking one up when it is released who were previously on iPhone.

I am one of them.

dave164 said,
I think it looks all very promising for Windows Phone 7. If I didn't have to upgrade 5 months ago, I would have waited and picked one up as soon as it was released.

I know a few people who are looking into picking one up when it is released who were previously on iPhone.

Yeah, it looks great. I definitely want to replace my current phone with a WP7 device. I just wish I didn't have to wait until the first half of next year for Verizon to get it. I would be picking one up on day one. LOL

dave164 said,
If I didn't have to upgrade 5 months ago, I would have waited and picked one up as soon as it was released.

Why did you have to upgrade? Could you not just have waited?