Windows Phone 7: RC1 screenshots

Earlier this week, the RC1 escrow of Windows Phone 7 leaked online which provides a near final look and most likely a feature complete version of Windows Phone 7.  The leaked ROM works with Microsoft’s freely available Windows Phone developer tool and allows anyone who is able to obtain the ROM to view it on their own PC.

Neowin’s good friend, Paul Thurrott, of Supersite for Windows, was able to get the ROM up and running and took a plethora of screenshots of the near final build.  Attached in the gallery below are numerous screenshots of the near final build that should give potential users a glimpse of what they can expect when phones branding this OS finally hit the market.

Paul notes “I haven't figured out how to get the emulator out to the Internet, so much of what makes Windows Phone so excellent--it's seamless integration with online services--isn't available in these shots. Also, the Games hub isn't working in this build (while it did previously). Still, there's some interesting stuff here”.

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Talk about boxy, minimalistic and ugly... Microsoft has really messed this one up. And with their Apple-like rules and limitations for OEM's, I don't see what will make this a desirable platform. The incompatibility with existing WM apps, and vendors (ex: Skype) announcing they are dropping support for the platform, I don't see a bright future ahead of this. Thanks Google for Android.

Gonna be honest, I was hyped about this but I'm starting to get a sinking feeling by just looking at the GUI.

I think were going to have to use it.. the animations I think what save it.

Does anyone know what the screen looks like when receiving a call? I want to know if there are any options when not accepting a call, such as sending a stock text to the person like "In a meeting, I'll call you right back" or something. This I think would be a nice feature.

I'm sorry but I honestly believe HTC has done a great job making Windows Mobile devices "prettier" over the years. HTC Sense + Touch Flo 3D on any Windows Mobile device looks amazing, especially on the TP2.

Well I just found out that the ASUS demo phone that has been used to show off WP7 is never coming to market. That's just great. The LG and Samsung prototypes are uglier in design than the ASUS, and it was the only one I was considering. Boo...

It's on purpose. It's supposed to help you realize there is more information to the side, which I guess it does. But IMO, it looks unpolished and stupid.

Hey I forgot how to use a cellphone to make and recieve phone calls. Does Windows Phone 7 still support that? I mean... why are we using the Zune interface, which was designed for a rich media experience, on a phone which is meant for calls?

netsendjoe said,
Hey I forgot how to use a cellphone to make and recieve phone calls. Does Windows Phone 7 still support that? I mean... why are we using the Zune interface, which was designed for a rich media experience, on a phone which is meant for calls?

Take a look at the screenshots yourself to see if WP7 does do calls..

WTF is MS doing, they finally have some hype on a product, and they are going to blow it yet again with an ugly UI.

Blasius said,
WTF is MS doing, they finally have some hype on a product, and they are going to blow it yet again with an ugly UI.

It looks like a placeholder UI to me. Maybe they don't want everyone to see the "bling" until it's finished?

GreyWolf said,

It looks like a placeholder UI to me. Maybe they don't want everyone to see the "bling" until it's finished?

It isn't that is the final UI but it's the raw UI, as others have said the UI is populated with information/images from the phone i.e. the contacts "icon" will be populated with pics of people in your contact list etc. However, despite the fact I think it looks ugly as sin the worst part (for me) is MS are not allowing OEMs to customize the UI (so no HTC Sense for WP7) which is what I like about Android. I find that pretty ugly too but since OEMs can customize and "beautify" it, I don't need to put up with the default ugliness, if that makes any sorta sense at all.

Microsoft restricting OEMs from making their own UI shell is one of the best things about the new WM7 specs. (It's second after the required minimum hardware set by Microsoft) This will allow firmware updates to be distributed way quicker and easier than how it works now.

First the developer has to release the update. Next, the OEM has to update their proprietary UI. The carrier has to then add their stuff on top of said UI and test it. Then it's released to the general public. Eliminating one or more of those steps is nothing but a plus for end users.

I think it needs to be known that this is the basic Windows Phone 7 UI, before ANYTHING is loaded onto it. The backgrounds change depending on what is loaded onto the device.

Hi! I'm a random useless personality you'll come across on the internet! I'm going to look at a mobile OS that markets itself heavily on visual effects, usability, and transitions, and judge it entirely on static screenshots! I'm going to pointlessly make dozens of +1, ++1, +11, etc posts because nothing says "I think for myself!" like "Me too!" Aren't you glad you're sharing the internet with me?

Joshie said,
Hi! I'm a random useless personality you'll come across on the internet! I'm going to look at a mobile OS that markets itself heavily on visual effects, usability, and transitions, and judge it entirely on static screenshots! I'm going to pointlessly make dozens of +1, ++1, +11, etc posts because nothing says "I think for myself!" like "Me too!" Aren't you glad you're sharing the internet with me?

You'll kill me for saying this, but....

+1 to that haha

I love it - it is clean, clear, and reasonably minimalist. Plus I tried it on emulator and it looks way better animated.

Extremely dull looking. I'd much rather recommend Android from what I've heard of it. Android has other fairly important features as well, like multitasking. Even the late-to-the-game iPhone will have that earlier than WP7.

Northgrove said,
Extremely dull looking. I'd much rather recommend Android from what I've heard of it. Android has other fairly important features as well, like multitasking. Even the late-to-the-game iPhone will have that earlier than WP7.

you do realize that most of the "blue blocks" are actually dynamically loaded images with animation and cycling art...

the phone "running" looks far more alive and engagin then any alternative out there currently.

Northgrove said,
Extremely dull looking. I'd much rather recommend Android from what I've heard of it. Android has other fairly important features as well, like multitasking. Even the late-to-the-game iPhone will have that earlier than WP7.

you recommend something from what you have heard? that's assuring.

What I find funny is in the past people complained about the WinMo UI and begged Microsoft to make it look like the Zune UI which was supposedly amazing.

Now when MS go ahead and do that, everyone's like dear god that looks horrible what were they thinking.

/- Razorfold said,
What I find funny is in the past people complained about the WinMo UI and begged Microsoft to make it look like the Zune UI which was supposedly amazing.

Now when MS go ahead and do that, everyone's like dear god that looks horrible what were they thinking.

Just because some users had a bad idea for a fully-featured smartphone doesn't mean Microsoft had to listen to them.

Elliott said,
Just because some users had a bad idea for a fully-featured smartphone doesn't mean Microsoft had to listen to them.

Lol. What a suprise you had to be in here Eliott. People complain that Microsoft doesn't listen to it's users, when they do, people then complain that Microsoft was stupid to do so. Can't please everyone.

Stop judging it on the basis of screenshots alone, since they can't show any transitions or animations which is what makes up the bulk of the UI design. There's a reason why the basis of the UI is black, and that's got to do with power saving.

Edited by -Razorfold, May 11 2010, 6:32pm :

Dunno what everyone's complaining about. 98% of the people out there who have a Zune HDlove the interface and this is just an extension of that. It looks sexy and I await its release.

spenser.d said,
Dunno what everyone's complaining about. 98% of the people out there who have a Zune HDlove the interface and this is just an extension of that. It looks sexy and I await its release.

98% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Elliott said,

98% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

I would think if you had a ZuneHD you would like the UI..It's not like you buy something and use it because you hate it.

/- Razorfold said,
I would think if you had a ZuneHD you would like the UI..It's not like you buy something and use it because you hate it.
I see people complaining about the iPhone UI all the time on this board, but they still have one. You don't have to love the Zune HD interface to use one.

Edited by Elliott, May 11 2010, 6:03pm :

Elliott said,
I see people complaining about the iPhone UI all the time on this board, but they still have one. You don't have to love the Zune HD interface to use one.

The people who complain about the iPhone UI on this board, usually have themes installed to change it. You cannot do that with the ZuneHD. That said I have yet to see someone complain about the HD's UI.

After seeing these screenshots it's starting to grow on me. Still don't wanna have facebook and Xbox crap all over my phone (which is pretty much all they were showing before) I still hope they work on the UI and the home/lock screen. I don't wanna see february fall off the screen...

Looks awesome, can't wait to get my fingers on the first device available
If you don't like the style, just don't buy it and get an IPhone - Or another one (or just wait 2 months for the next and next one)

Don't like it? Don't use it.
Honestly, I would like to be able to change the visuals to some degree (Include a background image on the home screen, for instance), but as an interface designed for touch on a small screen, it's brilliant. I've tested it out using my second monitor (Dell SX2210T), and I cannot describe just how finger-friendly it is. Compared to the iPhone OS, which is flashy and visually overwhelming, this is simple and direct, which compliments my needs for a smartphone.

I have to say I like the UI and whole concept behind this! It just seems really...simple and fresh? Hopefully there will be some improvements and polishing around the edges, but looks promising. Not sure it can lure me from my Nexus One though...yet !

there won't be any custom roms or 3rd party UI's for these phones. yes the devs may crack the phone but i wouldn't count on custom roms. besides the fact wp7 is not liked at xda & ppcgeeks except by very few.

fixxxer2010 said,
there won't be any custom roms or 3rd party UI's for these phones. yes the devs may crack the phone but i wouldn't count on custom roms. besides the fact wp7 is not liked at xda & ppcgeeks except by very few.

Yeh ok. The guys at XDA have managed to make custom roms out of every WinMo and Android builds out there. But I guess they'll all disappear when WP7 comes out because according to you they all hate it

Edited by -Razorfold, May 11 2010, 6:42pm :

fixxxer2010 said,
there won't be any custom roms or 3rd party UI's for these phones. yes the devs may crack the phone but i wouldn't count on custom roms. besides the fact wp7 is not liked at xda & ppcgeeks except by very few.

xda will ultimately crack it. Even the more-closed iPhone is jailbroken.

Remain where you are, Microsoft will have the Police round shortly to remove your computer equipment

All looks a bit blocky to me at the moment, might it be more rounded later?

Teebor said,
Remain where you are, Microsoft will have the Police round shortly to remove your computer equipment

All looks a bit blocky to me at the moment, might it be more rounded later?

Blocky? The iPhone and Android UI suck, they look nothing but griddy.

Electric Jolt said,

Blocky? The iPhone and Android UI suck, they look nothing but griddy.


lol. hilarious comment to make in defense of this particular UI

Edited by Northgrove, May 11 2010, 7:52pm :

Looks the same as the last screen shots I've seen of it. I like the usability videos I've seen of it but I'm not so sure that people are going to want something that can't be changed much GUI-wise when it is such a radical shift from the norm.

This seriously looks like my 6 year old was on their design team. I had high hopes MS would do something right with their phone, but it's awful. I know the Apple design team is just ROFL.

Ethere said,
This seriously looks like my 6 year old was on their design team. I had high hopes MS would do something right with their phone, but it's awful. I know the Apple design team is just ROFL.

these phones won't even touch the iphone or android at all. it will be a very small user base. hell even webos looks 10x better than this.

fixxxer2010 said,

these phones won't even touch the iphone or android at all. it will be a very small user base. hell even webos looks 10x better than this.

Wow! How did you visit the future! Next time cN you take me?

EgyptianDuck said,

Wow! How did you visit the future! Next time cN you take me?

+1 Me too!

Edited by NoctheniK, May 11 2010, 6:16pm :

Got to say I think its pretty ugly, then again I'm sure it looks better in motion and with the web integration. In saying that I was never a fan of the Zune UI either so it just doesn't appeal to me.

I was a fan of the style but the more I look at it the more I feel like it's wasting the screen on simple graphics. It's retro-quaint but I'm already tired of it. I guess I like the idea of icons and colors and such on something resembling a desktop, I'm used to that already on my computer. I'm also not totally sold on this hub idea, sounds like I hindrance to 3rd party app developers and confusing to the end user.

They go with this, and I'll be holding off until the cooks at XDA-Developers come up with something better. I don't like this interface one bit.

So I see they still haven't fixed the ridiculously oversized buttons or the huge waste of space on the home screen. It's disappointing to see that further development time hasn't beared any fruit.

Windows Phone could be really, really good. But they won't change the horrible UI. /sigh. I really don't want an iPhone. Please MS, don't make me buy one.

spacer said,
So I see they still haven't fixed the ridiculously oversized buttons or the huge waste of space on the home screen.
It's finger friendly. Of course stuff is oversized.

Kirkburn said,
It's finger friendly. Of course stuff is oversized.

That's true, but the two are not mutually inclusive. You can be finger-friendly, but not oversized. Maybe the answer is a happy medium between the iPhone OS icons and the Windows Phone "squares".

This interface is so fugly & messy! Well, that pretty much does it for me... my fears have been confirmed and I can confidently say that my HD2 will be the last Windows Mobile phone I buy.

When it's time for a new one, it'll probably be an Android-based toy from HTC.

Rest in peace Windows Mobile. Rot in pieces Windows Phone.

TonyLock said,
This is so much more appealing than an iPhone.

+1

hdood said,

-3.

It looks like poop.

+4, glad to see you're on our side.

Edited by NoctheniK, May 11 2010, 6:54pm :

Mainer82 said,
Why does this so different compared to the videos we saw a couple of months ago? Maybe it looks better in motion?

it is identical to the videos they showed...

Mainer82 said,
Why does this so different compared to the videos we saw a couple of months ago? Maybe it looks better in motion?

It looks way better in motion. It's all in the animations and transitions.

This is a nightmare for phone maunfactors, only two screen resolutions, no SD cards, default search must be Bing, must have deadicated button for Bing so MS can make money, multitasking still in question and most of all phone makers have to pay for it up front. Doesn't make sence when there are more flexible and better free options available.

thealexweb said,
This is a nightmare for phone maunfactors, only two screen resolutions, no SD cards, default search must be Bing, must have deadicated button for Bing so MS can make money, multitasking still in question and most of all phone makers have to pay for it up front. Doesn't make sence when there are more flexible and better free options available.

Guess you don't work in the phone industry. Two screen resolutions are easy, compared to a company picking one and making sure the OS scales well enough on it. No SD cards aren't that big of a deal, b/c then the phones can be thinner, or they can charge more for built-in storage. I don't think most phones have a 'default' search provider if any, so Bing shouldn't be a problem, especially since many people actually do like Bing.

It's not just a 'Bing' button; it's a dedicated SEARCH button. Not just the web, but also on the phone and in programs too, as a contextual search button. There aren't even ads from what I've seen of the Bing search results on WP7. Multitasking is there, just limited by what Microsoft wants for now. Phone makers get a license and guarantee by buying WP7 and there maybe a lot of people that want WP7 phones.

I can see you're just simply not a fan of WP7, because you try not to be.

A bit too minimalistic for my taste. However, owning a Zune, I know their UI can be very functional. I also don't spend all that much time looking at just my home screen.

Ultimately, the important thing for me will be how they push out apps. Visual Studio is a far better development platform than Eclipse for Android, and offers a lot of potential with XNA and Silverlight. If they can bridge the gap between developers and the phones with a good marketplace, I'll be interested.

Firethorne said,
Visual Studio is a far better development platform than Eclipse for Android, and offers a lot of potential with XNA and Silverlight.

Xcode and Objective C suck as well. I love the VS stuff for WP7

The general design concepts I think are fine, but perhaps it is a little 'too' basic for a smartphone.

Trends change though, simplifying a smartphone into key and important tasks doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing.

This isn't even RC1, and it didn't leak. This is just the unlocked emulator build from the April CTP refresh. Everyone seemed to jump on it for no reason. It's already over a month old.

Dead'Soul said,
they are trying to make it black, because of longer battery life on OLED screens. WP7 will force OLED screens...

and white for AMOLED screens.

Coming from the Zune HD, I love it. You know it's going to be very fluid too, based on the hardware requirements. The interface is just fantastic, gives you all the links to things fast, and it's very unique.

vincent said,
Only makes me love the Android UI even more, thanks MS!

You'll take those words back once you actually use it. You'll ask yourself why Android isn't half as fluid as this. Even on an N1 flicking through icon filled lists still yields considerable stuttering, something you never see on an iPhone.

I think the mistake here was taking screenshots with a plain black background. Some lighter colours can change the entire feel of it.

But then I don't know if any other wallpapers/colour schemes are included in this particular build.

JamesWeb said,
I think the mistake here was taking screenshots with a plain black background. Some lighter colours can change the entire feel of it.

But then I don't know if any other wallpapers/colour schemes are included in this particular build.

The Windows Mobile team developed the phone with a black background because that saves battery usage on OLED screens, because black pixels don't use any energy.

Vice said,
Looks so bland and basic. It's like the Windows 3.11 of Mobile Operating Systems.

Yes and this is why it has fluid transitions and lets you pan around...because it's just a command prompt, isn't it?

I use a Zune HD, and the fluid transitions on this OS are so much better looking than my Zune HD's fluid transitions that I can't wait since I love the animations and transitions my Zune HD has. You can't just put it down when it's an empty emulator...

Electric Jolt said,

Yes and this is why it has fluid transitions and lets you pan around...because it's just a command prompt, isn't it?

I use a Zune HD, and the fluid transitions on this OS are so much better looking than my Zune HD's fluid transitions that I can't wait since I love the animations and transitions my Zune HD has. You can't just put it down when it's an empty emulator...

I'm talking about the screen shots alone. It is just a bunch of solid color boxes. No rounded edges, no borders. It's just like they tore up some sheets of different color paper and then arrange them around on the screen. Android, Web OS and the iPhone OS look better than this on a purely UI / Visual level. And again my opinion has nothing to do with any transitional effects moving from menu to menu.

.Neo said,
Looks pretty plain and boring to me.

I agree, I think there is a lot of potential with the platform but it needs a decent skin...

.Neo said,
Looks pretty plain and boring to me.

I guess you would find icons on a grid more dynamic, even elegant. Just like the Iphone interface...
To me, Iphone UI is the definition of boring. It is static and almost without taste. It is a utilitarian interface.
Windows Phone 7 interface is the exact opposite, with lots of dynamic content, fluid transitions.

zagor said,

I guess you would find icons on a grid more dynamic, even elegant. Just like the Iphone interface...
To me, Iphone UI is the definition of boring. It is static and almost without taste. It is a utilitarian interface.
Windows Phone 7 interface is the exact opposite, with lots of dynamic content, fluid transitions.

+1

zagor said,

I guess you would find icons on a grid more dynamic, even elegant. Just like the Iphone interface...
To me, Iphone UI is the definition of boring. It is static and almost without taste. It is a utilitarian interface.
Windows Phone 7 interface is the exact opposite, with lots of dynamic content, fluid transitions.

Not entirely sure why you're directly jumping onto the defense wagon and start ripping on the iPhone interface, as I didn't make a comparison between the two to begin with.

Edited by .Neo, May 11 2010, 8:17pm :

zagor said,

I guess you would find icons on a grid more dynamic, even elegant. Just like the Iphone interface...
To me, Iphone UI is the definition of boring. It is static and almost without taste. It is a utilitarian interface.
Windows Phone 7 interface is the exact opposite, with lots of dynamic content, fluid transitions.

I totally agree with this post. I dunno how anyone can call the iPhone UI interesting or good. Played with my mates for about 5 mins when she first got hers, the nerdy side of me was almost jumping out yelling "it's a piece of sh*t". Of course I didn't say that, I said it was a "lovely" phone but my mouth and mind were really fighting it out. I prefer Windows Mobile or Android anyday.

zagor said,

I guess you would find icons on a grid more dynamic, even elegant. Just like the Iphone interface...
To me, Iphone UI is the definition of boring. It is static and almost without taste. It is a utilitarian interface.
Windows Phone 7 interface is the exact opposite, with lots of dynamic content, fluid transitions.

-1

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe
+1, looks like a mess

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

I love the minimalist look! I can't wait for these phones

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe
i think it's kinda funky.. it makes the interface 'feel' a lot bigger than it really is..

it's quirky

Spirit Dave said,
I love the minimalist look!

I don't know if you can call it minimalist. The intention behind it is minimalist, but it still seems busy.

It's a mess.

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

The static images don't do it justice. I've been much more impressed by the usability videos I've seen. The UI flows very nicely in action. And you have to admit, they are definitely doing something different with the UI than the other guys.

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

+1 It's one of the ugliest UI's I've ever seen. It almost looks like it was designed by a 5 year old with crayons, and then they cleaned it up a bit in photoshop.

Ji@nBing said,

+1 It's one of the ugliest UI's I've ever seen. It almost looks like it was designed by a 5 year old with crayons, and then they cleaned it up a bit in photoshop.

I guess you haven't seen Iphone UI.

That's quite possibly the ugliest UI I've ever seen on a smartphone. Looks like by this time next year there'll be one less competitor in the smartphone market and the remaining mobile OS players will be Symbian, Android, iPhone, and Blackberry (probably in that order in terms of worldwide units sold).

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

I think it looks great. I NEED to get it on my HD2 ffs

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

Honestly the Zune HD gui looks pretty bad with static images. Once you get your hands on that though, it's just so sexy. I have a feeling these phones will be the same.

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

Did someone create thiese pictures in Powerpoint????
Has M$ completley lost the concept that shiney good looking stuff actually sells loads!

Ji@nBing said,

+1 It's one of the ugliest UI's I've ever seen. It almost looks like it was designed by a 5 year old with crayons, and then they cleaned it up a bit in photoshop.

You must know some talented 5 year olds.

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

+1 + older people will get confused

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

Agreed, the UI is awful beyond belief. Are MSFT *trying* to lose market share?

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

yeah simply horrible, i hope they fail, btw winmo 6.5 owner, next phone will be android

fourinjuly4ij said,

Honestly the Zune HD gui looks pretty bad with static images. Once you get your hands on that though, it's just so sexy. I have a feeling these phones will be the same.

Exactly what everyone needs to know. Check the Windows Phone 7 videos, because these static images lack context.

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

It looks like the UI when it first comes out of the box, w/o anything extra loaded on it and also w/o any phone connection. The backgrounds for music/pictures/videos/games change depending on what is loaded onto the device. Same with people/me tiles. These shots are essentially the basic Windows Phone 7 UI.

Fubar said,
Personally i find that gui horrid then again its not all about the gui hehehe

Yeah that UI terrible, Windows can't spring a few dollars to pay for some icons at least.

Maysky said,
The UI feel like a Magazine Ad or a Power Point presentation. It has a very flat feeling.

---

The UI doesn't 'feel' flat at all. The whole UI is constantly moving and tilting 3 dimensionally. Even the buttons give a cool 3d effect when you press them. I'm assuming that when you said 'feel' you were referring to pictures you saw and not actually using the ROM.

zagor said,

I guess you haven't seen Iphone UI.

It's pretty horrendous too, but it's better than this. The annoying thing about the iPhone is the little square icons everywhere. Even most custom themes stick to little squares for some reason. At least you can make your own easily if you want. I converted the Oxygen icon set from KDE for mine and it looks awesome.