At Mobile World Congress last week, Microsoft revealed that it "reset" the code for Windows Phone 7 approximately two years ago.
Additional screen-shots and a video of Windows Mobile 7 (codenamed Photon at one point) leaked this week after Microsoft revealed the new "Metro" UI inside Windows Phone 7. Leading up to the company's grand unveiling last week, we'd seen various leaks of the "Photon" UI for over a year.
Alongside the leaks over the past months we had also seen persistent rumours about the delay of what was referred to as Windows Mobile 7 and hints that the company was working on a new UI based on the Zune HD. Some rumours were far-fetched and some screen-shots too, but the interface amongst them was always similar. Microsoft never commented on the leaked screen shots officially but before the "reset" in 2008, Photon was being actively worked on. Publicly, most have only seen blurry and small screen-shots but this week a member of the XDA-Developers forum posted a video of an early build of Photon in action. In the video you can see various new UI elements that Microsoft were testing initially. The company scrapped these plans and moved on to using the "Metro" UI which we have seen implemented in Windows Media Center, Xbox 360, Zune HD and now Windows Phone 7. Metro is a UI vision/guidance across all of Microsoft's consumer products. The forthcoming "Project Pink" devices will use the foundations of the Metro UI too and Windows Live Messenger 2010 and other Windows Live products will also see parts of the same UI in their products. Look at Windows Media Center, Xbox 360 and the Zune HD and you'll begin to see the synergy between the products and how Microsoft will implement this across all their consumer products in future.
At Neowin we thought we would round up all the genuine shots of Photon into one place to look at what Windows Mobile 7 may have been. It's a slice of history and like the Longhorn concepts I'm sure Microsoft officials are glad they scrapped it and went with Metro. Enjoy.
Screenshots & Video credits: WMPoweruser.com, Pocketnow.com, XDA-developers.com