New Windows Phone 7 videos illustrate Office, productivity features

New videos of Microsoft’s upcoming mobile OS have surfaced demonstrating its strong depth in productivity features. The two short clips from Mobility Digest show real world scenarios that users would encounter when using Windows Phone 7. 

The first clip demonstrates the native email client browsing through different categories and mass deleting messages, but then goes on to illustrate its tight integration with Office as the user directly starts editing a powerpoint presentation and resends it as an updated attachment. Calendar features are demonstrated as well with the user accepting an invitation to a meeting.

The second clip gives a quick overview of the Office Hub, starting with a demonstration of OneNote and how user would edit a OneNote document and add inline voice recordings. It goes on to show the general interface of the hub and how documents are organized. 

Check them out for yourself:

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As far as usability and UI effectiveness, I'd be curious to see results of n00b tests. You know, hand one of each kind of phone to total smartphone newbies and ask them to perform a set of tasks, timing each. Compose an email, go to a website, create a calendar event, etc.

The talk about the text-oriented UI being less efficient is largely opinions and the usual forum blabbing, so it'd be interesting to see what the reality is.

Windows Phone 7 may well get me to switch back from Android next time I'm due for a handset - it's looking so good! *drools*

I don't like the 'home screen' tile UI. I feel like the tiles use up too much screen real estate and it'll take longer to get to what you want. The rest of the UI i have no problem with.

The city is spelled San FranCisco...

You'd think someone would have spell-checked the demo content before they rendered and released around the world a video using it. 8P

Pretty, but we are seeing Word... it's only text so it's nice. How about Excel with all the tables and toolbars needed? Can they make it pretty too?

Personally I love the UI but the artificial limitations MS set for WP7 will make me migrate to Android when my HD2 will be retired. Hopefully when Wp7.XX or WP8 will be out all these issues will be resolved, as I said I love the UI.

Interesting to see what happens when MS is backed into a corner and its lazy attempts at OS development are challenged by competitors. First IE, then Windows 7 and now this.. Gotta love competition

I'm totally sold on the UI.
I understand some don't like or find it confusing, but I think that it just takes time to get used to it.

Also agree to changing the background to black.

Nice UI, seems really intuitive and also focusses on the task. I will say it could be like 1% too sparse in places, but that's probably just me!

thealexweb said,
Anyone else think the interface looks fugly? To much text.

No, only you and a handful of others nitpick the UI for having "too much text", like reading more would hurt people.

With aesthetics in mind , there's a bit too much text and overall it feels impersonal .
While the office suite integrations isn't something revolutionary , it's very well implemented. Thumbs up!

Thats interesting. Bit more power to office in there already. This is so gonna be used in a tablet sized device.

They need to speed the animations up! Microsoft always has a problem with animation speed. On Windows I have disabled the window animations because they are just too slow! They make the computer feel slower than it really is. If I could double their speed they would be very nice. Fast animations give the feeling of a fast computer.

mrp04 said,
They need to speed the animations up! Microsoft always has a problem with animation speed. On Windows I have disabled the window animations because they are just too slow! They make the computer feel slower than it really is. If I could double their speed they would be very nice. Fast animations give the feeling of a fast computer.

The new vids already show a speed improvment over the original build shown at MIX IMO. And also, when you hit a tile like email or people etc, (even a hub) they're basically apps or superapps (the hubs), so the animations hide the loading, (unless you wanna see a loading icon or something. And from those vids, the apps and the office hub load pretty fast to me.

mrp04 said,
They need to speed the animations up! Microsoft always has a problem with animation speed. On Windows I have disabled the window animations because they are just too slow! They make the computer feel slower than it really is. If I could double their speed they would be very nice. Fast animations give the feeling of a fast computer.

Where the iPhone will actually display a load screen when resource heavy apps are opened WP7 will instead use animation to hide the loading. Like on Windows this can sort of make the UI feel slow but it's actually there for a reason so can't really be removed until Snapdragon come out with a faster processor.

I was originally excited about WP7 but the more I look at it the more I'm not. I kind of find the UI to be difficult to scan at a glance, I guess I just am more used to icons/graphics rather than 100% text--I think I would be less productive with this UI.

Redestium said,
I was originally excited about WP7 but the more I look at it the more I'm not. I kind of find the UI to be difficult to scan at a glance, I guess I just am more used to icons/graphics rather than 100% text--I think I would be less productive with this UI.

With Win7 the task bar is all graphics by default. With Win7 Phone is a mostly text.

Maybe the leaders of each had different ideas.

fixxxer2010 said,
did i mention that i hate the interface?

Please neowin, add comment rating system so that we can rank down and hide people trolling like these.

vice le von said,

Please neowin, add comment rating system so that we can rank down and hide people trolling like these.

how is it trolling when im stating my opinion? just because you don't agree with it.

freak180 said,

So?

It's sort of like hearing someone declare that he hates cinnamon. You blink at him a bit, try to wrap your mind around the thought of locking cinnamon out of your experience of life, and ultimately shrug and figure it takes all kinds.

Joshie said,

It's sort of like hearing someone declare that he hates cinnamon. You blink at him a bit, try to wrap your mind around the thought of locking cinnamon out of your experience of life, and ultimately shrug and figure it takes all kinds.


+1
I, on the other hand, hate Iphone's UI. It is an UI designed for idiots...It has zero taste and aesthetics.

fixxxer2010 said,
how is it trolling when im stating my opinion? just because you don't agree with it.

How about some depth to your post besides a glib cheap shot. If you don't like it - why? what is lacking? how would you do it if you were designing it? can you point to products on the market right now which do it right and then explain why they do it right.

pezzonovante said,

Oh, and did I mention I hate iPhone and Android?


I could understand why you hate the iPhone, but what you got against Android?

SharpGreen said,

I could understand why you hate the iPhone, but what you got against Android?

Too many widgets? I'm just guessing here!

SharpGreen said,

I could understand why you hate the iPhone, but what you got against Android?

Maybe he was just trying to reflect a similar attitude back, without necessarily being sincere, lol. Not that there's nothing about Android worth complaining over. The frustrating update experience is the primary one (and we can only hope Froyo genuinely addresses it--I mean, if it just updates components, but not the core Android version itself, we aren't going to be happy). My own issue now is, after watching those WP7 Office videos, Android feels like it's really crippled in terms of productivity. It's an awesome nerdphone, and I tinker with mine like crazy and love doing it, but I don't think there's anything remotely close to the productivity scenario possible on Google's platform.

Not to mention, WP7's scheduler has Outlook culture behind it, which is undoubtedly superior to Google's calendar/inbox, and makes me feel kind of lame using my Android calendar now, lol. X)

fixxxer2010 said,

how is it trolling when im stating my opinion? just because you don't agree with it.

We don't care about your opinion, and you can keep it to yourself, unless you gives us something useful.

I certainly don't care that some random person sitting at some computer somewhere dislikes something. I bet most others don't either.

It is another matter if you give a reason or two, so I can also make my own opinion.

LaserWraith said,

We don't care about your opinion, and you can keep it to yourself, unless you gives us something useful.

I certainly don't care that some random person sitting at some computer somewhere dislikes something. I bet most others don't either.

It is another matter if you give a reason or two, so I can also make my own opinion.

Yeah, see, no. I think the guy's a tard too, but the button says 'Post Comment', not 'Engage in Discussion'. If anything, the average real-world comment is almost always just a matter of like/dislike. Once you start explaining, it's more like a rant.


Comment: "OMG that sandwich was gross."
Response: "INORITE"
Nazi: "Explain yourself or never eat sandwiches again!"

Edited by Joshie, Apr 26 2010, 12:44am :

vice le von said,

Please neowin, add comment rating system so that we can rank down and hide people trolling like these.

Good idea. I like it.

Joshie said,

Maybe he was just trying to reflect a similar attitude back, without necessarily being sincere, lol. Not that there's nothing about Android worth complaining over. The frustrating update experience is the primary one (and we can only hope Froyo genuinely addresses it--I mean, if it just updates components, but not the core Android version itself, we aren't going to be happy). My own issue now is, after watching those WP7 Office videos, Android feels like it's really crippled in terms of productivity. It's an awesome nerdphone, and I tinker with mine like crazy and love doing it, but I don't think there's anything remotely close to the productivity scenario possible on Google's platform.

Not to mention, WP7's scheduler has Outlook culture behind it, which is undoubtedly superior to Google's calendar/inbox, and makes me feel kind of lame using my Android calendar now, lol. X)

Yeah, I agree. The productivity tools are really amazing... I just hope that Outlook Mobile can link with other calendar clients as well. Not that I dislike Outlook, but with some really great alternatives out there, it would make sense for Microsoft to allow WP7 to integrate with others. Such as Thunderbird...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, I agree. The productivity tools are really amazing... I just hope that Outlook Mobile can link with other calendar clients as well. Not that I dislike Outlook, but with some really great alternatives out there, it would make sense for Microsoft to allow WP7 to integrate with others. Such as Thunderbird...

I'd be happy just to hear it has full syncing with Google Calendar, including event creation. I seriously doubt that'd happen, though, since I don't think it's possible even with the full desktop Outlook client.

I've tried really hard but I still can't stand the WP7 UI, it's just so ugly to me. I know most people love it and call me crazy for not liking it but each to their own . Android is where it's at for me, but if WP7 works for you then more power to you.

Xerxes said,
I've tried really hard but I still can't stand the WP7 UI, it's just so ugly to me. I know most people love it and call me crazy for not liking it but each to their own . Android is where it's at for me, but if WP7 works for you then more power to you.

no i agree, i can't stand it either.

Xerxes said,
I've tried really hard but I still can't stand the WP7 UI, it's just so ugly to me. I know most people love it and call me crazy for not liking it but each to their own . Android is where it's at for me, but if WP7 works for you then more power to you.

I agree as well. There's just nothing to this UI but text and the occasional glyph that really means nothing to me in its context.

Elliott said,

I agree as well. There's just nothing to this UI but text and the occasional glyph that really means nothing to me in its context.

I don't think it's that ugly, it's fast and smooth, just confusing. MS WE NEED BORDERS!!

Xerxes said,
I've tried really hard but I still can't stand the WP7 UI, it's just so ugly to me. I know most people love it and call me crazy for not liking it but each to their own . Android is where it's at for me, but if WP7 works for you then more power to you.

You guys don't do typography much?

I love it - it looks very easy to use and the ui just flows off your fingers. I will be waiting until late 2010 to make my decision on a new phone.

dtomilson said,
I love it - it looks very easy to use and the ui just flows off your fingers. I will be waiting until late 2010 to make my decision on a new phone.

Same here. I hope there's a nice device that I can switch to... I'm glad Microsoft released MyPhone for Windows Mobile 6.1 as well... That'll make the transition pretty easy I would imagine...

Is it just me, or do they keep making the UI better and better? The animations and transitions look even slicker in this video than at MIX... I'd replace my iPhone with this right now if I could!

JonathanMarston said,
Is it just me, or do they keep making the UI better and better? The animations and transitions look even slicker in this video than at MIX... I'd replace my iPhone with this right now if I could!

You're right, they're faster and more smoother in this newer build. It'd be nice if we could've gotten a build # so we had an idea of how new this is compared to the one released at MIX.

[quote=JonathanMarston said,]Is it just me, or do they keep making the UI better and better? The animations and transitions look even slicker in this video than at MIX... I'd replace my iPhone with this right now if I could![/quote

Yeah, I agree. The work Microsoft is putting into this OS really shows. I would get a phone with this on it right now too.

+1
The UI looks pretty confusing to me. The actions done in the demo look unintuitive, there are no visual cues to help you understand how to perform an action, it's like you have to "guess" and touch around the screen to find how to do something. Also, I bet that looking at a screen with a bunch of text will make your eyes tired in a couple hours of usage.

Sorry but I'm not digging this new mobile OS from Microsoft... :-(

Pharos said,
+1
The UI looks pretty confusing to me. The actions done in the demo look unintuitive, there are no visual cues to help you understand how to perform an action, it's like you have to "guess" and touch around the screen to find how to do something. Also, I bet that looking at a screen with a bunch of text will make your eyes tired in a couple hours of usage.

Sorry but I'm not digging this new mobile OS from Microsoft... :-(

Although I may like the phone's connectivity and Windows integration, the UI is DOS on steroids!

I fail to see how an all text UI can be confusing, I also disagree with you saying it's an all text UI.

Edited by Haegr, Apr 24 2010, 2:08am :

Haegr said,
I fail to see how an all text UI can be confusing.

Because the human eye catches colors and simple drawings much faster than a bunch of letters making words.

Pharos said,
+1
The UI looks pretty confusing to me. The actions done in the demo look unintuitive, there are no visual cues to help you understand how to perform an action, it's like you have to "guess" and touch around the screen to find how to do something. Also, I bet that looking at a screen with a bunch of text will make your eyes tired in a couple hours of usage.

Sorry but I'm not digging this new mobile OS from Microsoft... :-(

I don't entirely understand your criticism. Can you point out a specific action demonstrated in the videos that you feel is hidden from the user or is somehow different from what would happen if a similar object was clicked in a desktop version of similar software?

Luis Mazza said,

Because the human eye catches colors and simple drawings much faster than a bunch of letters making words.

Yes, it does, I have to admit that fact. But the design is based off of real-world designs, for example road signs. We always want more screen real-estate and Microsoft showed a new way to do that and make you think in your mind that it is big and it is, you're moving all around and it helps you with clues like things going off the page indicating that it's more than just that.


There is A LOT of clues in this OS, like the line for the context menu, the stuff off the side, the bar at the bottom for more advanced options, the back button you always know where it is, the start button, and the search button to find anything including what is around you.

Lots of people did not like how the iPhone has no back button and had to figure out the arrows and stuff on-screen. I do like the idea of 3 required buttons that seem so simple and intuitive, back, start over, connect me to real world to find something. So I have to say, it will be very intuitive to the person using the phone, and the person planning on getting one after seeing the ads showing them pan around to see more, it will become something that is known on a Windows Phone 7 device.

Edited by Electric Jolt, Apr 24 2010, 2:19am :

Electric Jolt said,

Yes, it does, I have to admit that fact. But the design is based off of real-world designs, for example road signs. We always want more screen real-estate and Microsoft showed a new way to do that and make you think in your mind that it is big and it is, you're moving all around and it helps you with clues like things going off the page indicating that it's more than just that.


There is A LOT of clues in this OS, like the line for the context menu, the stuff off the side, the bar at the bottom for more advanced options, the back button you always know where it is, the start button, and the search button to find anything including what is around you.

Lots of people did not like how the iPhone has no back button and had to figure out the arrows and stuff on-screen. I do like the idea of 3 required buttons that seem so simple and intuitive, back, start over, connect me to real world to find something. So I have to say, it will be very intuitive to the person using the phone, and the person planning on getting one after seeing the ads showing them pan around to see more, it will become something that is known on a Windows Phone 7 device.

I hope so! Thank you. But I wouldn't mind the use of more colors and visual feature-grouping. Let's see how it unfolds...

Luis Mazza said,

I hope so! Thank you. But I wouldn't mind the use of more colors and visual feature-grouping. Let's see how it unfolds...

Oh I'm sure as time goes on it will improve dramatically. It's already going to have a large selection of high-quality apps, and many games are very graphic-rich. As the series goes on, the updates to this operating system is going to be bad-ass. Like it's going to be Windows Update without the worry of needing to be genuine, since all phones running Windows Phone 7 are indeed running legit copies of Windows Phone 7 (current phone that can run Windows Phone 7 is HTC HD2, thats gonna be the only phone working on it, not much to worry about) and that means Microsoft has nothing to worry about.


Point is, it's just high-quality from now on. Nothing can stop Microsoft now, OEMS and cell providers are locked out of bloating firmwares, their using Silverlight and the best developer tools around, the phones offer options to customers while retaining high-quality specifications, and a smaller more compact specification is coming later for those wanting smaller phones. It's just the best right now for them!

Edited by Electric Jolt, Apr 24 2010, 3:48am :

Good news for you too, Joe Belfiore declared at the MIX conference that the background color can be changed on every screen; most of them will be black by default to save battery life on the OLED screens anyway but I'm certainly going to change outlook to black as well

MarenLBC said,
Microsoft definitely has something stunning on their hands with Windows Phone 7.

The interface looks really slick and I was really surprised to see all the connectivity functions. I really liked the keep offline functionality. Looks like really good stuff.

Edited by Shadrack, Apr 24 2010, 1:53am :

MarenLBC said,
Microsoft definitely has something stunning on their hands with Windows Phone 7.

What I would love to see is someone come out with a 64GB Windows Phone 7 powered media player; it would be really awesome, and if it used MTP for Mac and Windows synchronisation it would be the icing on the cake

Microsoft is like a Greek dance, they start off slowly but they're slowly speeding up. Maybe in a year's time I'll have a Windows laptop/desktop and a Windows Phone 7 media player

Windows Mobile 7 is going to include Zune like Media Player features and I'm pretty sure there will be a 64GB version
Syncing will be possible using the Zune software which is awesome even if you don't own a Zune: http://zune.net

MarenLBC said,
Microsoft definitely has something stunning on their hands with Windows Phone 7.

Yeah, But for me the most important thing is the Price, Because whats the point with all these features when you will never be able to afford the Windows Phone 7 like me.

Sebianoti said,

Yeah, But for me the most important thing is the Price, Because whats the point with all these features when you will never be able to afford the Windows Phone 7 like me.

I'm sure AT&T, Verizon and tmobile will offer some good plans/contracts like they do for android/iPhone right now. Then again, if you mean even those are too much, gotta start saving.

JHH said,

No, it looks like a Fisher-Price phone.

Wow, I haven't heard that used since the XP days. Really now, Fisher-Price? Becuase it's default color is blue for the tiles?

JHH said,

No, it looks like a Fisher-Price phone.

They should totally make it all gray and strip out any color, joy, and personality. Yeah, make it JUST like Windows 2000! That's what you want, right?

JHH said,

No, it looks like a Fisher-Price phone.

And Mac-heads are still stinging from the fact that they spent the better part of a decade fawning over a GUI that had blue candy jelly scroll bars. So what's your point? 8P