Windows Phone 7 portal goes live

Microsoft has just launched their new Windows Phone portal which heavily features Windows Phone 7 and provides a load of content for prospective buyers and owners. This portal has actually launched earlier than many would have expected, considering that Microsoft will be announcing the availability of Windows Phone 7 on Monday.

The portal is designed with a heavy focus on squares, rectangles and the Segoe font, in essence the Metro UI used on the devices. The portal has 4 main areas for both Windows Phone 7 and 6.5 devices. The areas are “discover”, “buy”, “how-to” and “applications”.

The discover page allows users to watch videos of the some of the features of Windows Phone 7 with a great focus on the Live Tiles and Hubs which aren’t found on other mobile platforms. There are even walkthroughs for the email and calendar functionality, searching and maps, and the accompanying Windows Live service which incorporates Find My Phone.

Currently there is nothing listed in the buy section of the site although it is expected that this page will be populated on Monday after Microsoft hold their event in New York and London.

Microsoft appears to have gone all out on the amount of topics covered within the how-to part of the portal. All hubs have about 20 different help topics, plus there are many basic, and getting started, help areas. There are also several videos which expand on the help topics, such as showing users how to customise their device. Microsoft will provide “featured topics” and “popular topics” lists to surface key things on the mobile OS.

The final area of the portal has some information about the apps that will be featured on Windows Phone 7; however, currently there isn’t much information. There are small blurbs about some of the Xbox Live games that will feature on the devices and more information for each game can be found on the Xbox site. There are even links to help and how-to topics on this page.

There are some showcase pages too which show off key applications such as Office. On the Office page, all 5 of the applications have a small blurb and also have a corresponding “help and how-to” page with many features documented.

From digging around this new portal, some small pieces of information have been discovered. It is now possible to download the Zune PC Software outside of the US (without needing to change one’s location on the website). This is only version 4.2 of the Zune software and not 4.7 which will be necessary to sync with Windows Phone 7.

It appears that Office will get a new page or site at office.com/mobile of which its purpose is currently unknown. It might be a way to access documents stored in the cloud on mobile devices or it might just be additional information on how to use Office Mobile.

It looks like Microsoft will use this portal to ensure that new users can find out how to do anything they want on the device and will even point out some features users might not have realised.The portal could yet prove to be even more interesting when all the links are working and the “buy” page is populated with devices that can be purchased.

Windows Phone 7 devices are expected to be announced on Monday and Neowin will be covering both the New York and London events.

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So the million dollar question-what if you have only a Mac computer but want a Windows phone? Guess there will be 3rd party software to sync it but you would think they would have a Zune client for Mac.

boydp182 said,
So the million dollar question-what if you have only a Mac computer but want a Windows phone? Guess there will be 3rd party software to sync it but you would think they would have a Zune client for Mac.

IMO the reason for this is that mac users in general wouldn't be wanting to use wm7, they'd be happy with the iPhone based of the general obsessive loyalty shown by macolytes to the lord Steve and all his sibling devices

Apple had to port iTunes to windows to make available to the bigger audience, doesnt work both ways......

On a unrelated note, SilverLight is so much smoother than Flash. I tried the HTML5 YouTube which has been in beta for a long time now and it's worse than Flash >.>

OK a question - everyone knows there's no freakin way to get the country changed in Microsoft Billing, so if you move countries, you are royally screwed using your account for access to your new region's content etc etc, so, will this be changed now WP7 is out... imagine signing in on your phone "can't use this live ID in the market place because it's the wrong country" except, your live ID happens to be THE one with all the contacts etc etc on. IS MS BILLING GOING TO GET IN TO GEAR?

Noticed everything scrolls from side to side for pictures, etc. that's why font is cut off. Wonder what happens if you turn phone for lanscape mode. My guess that it isn't an option.

boydp182 said,
Noticed everything scrolls from side to side for pictures, etc. that's why font is cut off. Wonder what happens if you turn phone for lanscape mode. My guess that it isn't an option.
of course horizontal orientation is an option..

BGM said,
of course horizontal orientation is an option..

Only certain parts of the UI support landscape mode - the start screen and panoramas aren't design for that. SO no, it's not a option for those particular pages. Standard pages generally ddo support it though.

But honestly it's not loss, holding a phone in portrait instead of landscape is practically effortless :L

Also, looks like classic Microsoft. Why the big fonts at the top of the screen that are missing letters that you have to scroll to the side to see the rest of options and headlines. Just seems like a messy experience. Have to handle one to really pass judgement though.

boydp182 said,
Also, looks like classic Microsoft. Why the big fonts at the top of the screen that are missing letters that you have to scroll to the side to see the rest of options and headlines. Just seems like a messy experience. Have to handle one to really pass judgement though.

The whole point is that you don't need to see what the rest of that text states because it's obvious what it states at all times. It's cut off to show that there are more options when you slide to the right or left.

boydp182 said,
Also, looks like classic Microsoft. Why the big fonts at the top of the screen that are missing letters that you have to scroll to the side to see the rest of options and headlines. Just seems like a messy experience. Have to handle one to really pass judgement though.

Have you even researched the Metro UI?

Joyette S said,
Have you even researched the Metro UI?

Well for starters it's the Metro design language, not the Metro UI. Although yes, that is the point of the design!

~Johnny said,

Well for starters it's the Metro design language, not the Metro UI. Although yes, that is the point of the design!

I consider it just Metro but thanks for the correction.

boydp182 said,
Also, looks like classic Microsoft. Why the big fonts at the top of the screen that are missing letters that you have to scroll to the side to see the rest of options and headlines. Just seems like a messy experience. Have to handle one to really pass judgement though.

I'ts kinda hard to believe you don't know why its designed that way but if you have not had any experience with Zune then its understandable. Its all about design and if you've seen or experienced Zune you should get it.

1 BIG PROBLEM-Zune not available for Mac.
I also wish this phone would of went the way of iphone and not android and went button free. I hate the back, home, and search button.

boydp182 said,
1 BIG PROBLEM-Zune not available for Mac.
I also wish this phone would of went the way of iphone and not android and went button free. I hate the back, home, and search button.

That phone you see on the site is not a phone. Its not a real device. Its just a generic pic to represent a phone. I personally prefer buttons but three buttons is little to dislike the phone for.

I hope many of the apps can find a way to be consistent with the Metro style when possible. I took a look at the UNO app, and it looks like something straight out of the early 2000s. Not saying the ought to be exactly the same, but things like a basic panorama menu (when a menu is needed), more content and less gloss, and such would be nice, though they could contain unique identities to a certain font type, background, stylized icons, etc.

The site could use some work too, even if it hasn't really meant to be out yet. I'd rather see every WP7 app available directly on that site, instead of being pointed to a whole different site (like Xbox games). Plus on one of the Xbox games, Max and the Magic Marker, there was a very obvious error in the preview video where a Firefox window pops up on Gmail (who's message is about WP7 coincidentally) for like a few seconds and then goes back to the game at 0:12. Directly from the video on the app site.

Hopefully most of the kinks are out when it launches

Just playing with the voice commands in the Emulator... Its really nice But there only 3 things you can do witch Dial a number, Open application and Find anything on the web. It got my thinking why isn't there anything like this for the desktop like Sire?

Melfster said,
Just playing with the voice commands in the Emulator... Its really nice But there only 3 things you can do witch Dial a number, Open application and Find anything on the web. It got my thinking why isn't there anything like this for the desktop like Sire?

Windows 7 has built in voice recognition

martinDTanderson said,

Windows 7 has built in voice recognition

Yeah But you can't say find me a local pizza hut and It will show a map or you can't say what whats 1235 divided by 5 and it will return the answer.

Melfster said,

Yeah But you can't say find me a local pizza hut and It will show a map or you can't say what whats 1235 divided by 5 and it will return the answer.


true

The portal looks pretty sweet! And the music is nice and upbeat .

Good to see all the information available there. Now hopefully we'll be able to buy some unlocked phones there too. That would be cool!

r1zzah said,
The portal looks pretty sweet! And the music is nice and upbeat .

Good to see all the information available there. Now hopefully we'll be able to buy some unlocked phones there too. That would be cool!

i also hope so!

r1zzah said,
The portal looks pretty sweet! And the music is nice and upbeat .

Good to see all the information available there. Now hopefully we'll be able to buy some unlocked phones there too. That would be cool!

The music is all based off their sound-research for embedded devices. A lot of the device jingles and ringtones sound like the music on that page

MS Pandya said,

The music is all based off their sound-research for embedded devices. A lot of the device jingles and ringtones sound like the music on that page

I don't know about the research...but my brother's baby seems to love the music...