Print 115 comment(s) - last by Pirks.. on Feb 17 at 2:02 PM

Windows Mobile 7 offers a bright, fresh look that surprisingly bears no resemblance to the iPhone, unlike its competitors.

The new Windows Mobile 7, set to release this holiday season, essentially acts an Xbox handheld, a Zune video/music player, and phone rolled into one. The Music+Video hub looks almost identitcal to the Microsoft's Zune HD software.  (Source: Microsoft)

The phone also offers a clean, rich RSS-like social network feed akin to the new Google Buzz service.  (Source: Microsoft)
New mobile OS from Microsoft to launch this holiday season, hardware will be consistently high quality

There's a sort of beautiful symmetry in Microsoft's mobile phone operating system announcement which aired today at the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  Holiday season 2009 Microsoft unleashed Windows 7, a desktop operating system that turned people's preconceptions upside down and fueled unprecedented sales.  This year it will look to do the same, with the release of Windows Mobile 7.

Forget the talk of delays (okay, so the OS will land almost in 2011), forget all the complaints about the past Windows Mobile operating systems, forget Microsoft's slipping market share; you need to look at Windows Mobile with a fresh set of eyes because it is completely different.

The first surprise is in the base operating system.  The past Windows Mobile operating system code base is about to become officially retired, relegated to some forgotten change management repository.  In its place will be an entirely new mobile phone operating system built atop the existing OS on Microsoft's Zune MP3 players.

In that respect Windows Mobile 7 could be hailed as the long awaited "Zune phone" as it shares much of the look of the Zune, with bright, flat square icons, large text and nary a chiclet in site.  The look provides the first true alternative to the iPhone (competitors like Palm and Google have largely emulated Apple's chiclet grid look) and will likely appeal to many customers.

Microsoft's phone is built around six key hubs -- People, Pictures, Games, Music+Video, Marketplace, and Office -- each a colorful and unique digital playground. 

People will stream updates from Facebook and Windows Live, sort of like a RSS feed on steroids (or the recently unveiled Google Buzz).  Despite the reinvention, people will find scraps of similarity; the Music+Video hub is virtually identical to the software on the Zune HD.  It incorporates a music/video store, a media player, and mild social networking.

Games is another place people will find familiar looks.  Games is essentially Microsoft's long awaited mobile Xbox handheld.  With the iPhone tearing up game sales charts, its clear that this is long overdue.

Marketplace will be Microsoft's rival to the App store.  Here's a surprise -- no past Windows Mobile apps will work on the phone or be in the store.  That's right, unlike some (Palm), Microsoft's OS reinvention includes wiping the slate clean with apps.  That downside is that means less apps and some unhappy developers, the upside is that customers can expect cleaner, fresher applications.  Another slight surprise is that there will be no desktop Syncing other than standard Zune syncing; everything else will be done over the air.

Office and Pictures are much like you'd expect -- a photo gallery, and a promising, improved portable version of Microsoft's Office software. 

Another critical piece of the interface is the browser -- the browser will be a multi-touch version of Internet Explorer.  While it's no shocker that it's not blazing fast given how slow its desktop brethren are, the browser still looks pretty nice.  And you can bet Opera and Mozilla already have faster browsers in the works. 

Email will be handled through a mobile Outlook client that looks to be a fusion of beauty and efficiency in a tight package.  The client has full support for Microsoft Exchange.

Microsoft is opting for an approach somewhere in between Apple's as its past mobile phone approach when it comes to hardware.  Previously it had virtually no restrictions.  Now, it's being choosy. While it still is not designing the phone itself, it has made hardware guidelines extremely strict.  Every phone must meet certain speed requirements, support multitouch, have a Bing button (for quick searching), have an FM radio built in, and meet battery life requirements.  Certain alterations, such as custom skins (like HTC's), are banned.

In short Windows Mobile 7 looks to be another dynamic holiday launch for Microsoft.  Former Microsoft VP Dick Brass (see his recent criticism) better be taking note -- because this new phone OS is arguably the most revolutionary thing to happen to the phone market since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.  Looks like Apple might finally have a true fight on its hands for the title of trendiest smart phone.

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RE: No apple fan here but....
By Pirks on 2/16/2010 7:39:57 AM , Rating: 1
why are you showing me the graph where Windows loses market share while Mac gains it? you wanna prove my point? that's not necessary, but thanks anyway.

RE: No apple fan here but....
By retrospooty on 2/16/2010 1:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
uhhh... 92% vs 5%. that PRETTY MUCH makes my point that MS owns that Market.

Separate issue but if you didnt notice, Macs "meteoric" (LOL) rise from 3.5 to 5% over the past few years stopped in October 2009. Its going down now too.

RE: No apple fan here but....
By Pirks on 2/16/2010 5:27:46 PM , Rating: 1
that PRETTY MUCH makes my point that MS owns that Market
It also PRETTY MUCH makes my point about Windows constantly losing market share :P

RE: No apple fan here but....
By Pirks on 2/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: No apple fan here but....
By retrospooty on 2/16/2010 7:54:34 PM , Rating: 2
you are truly hopeless - LOL

Nothing I have said here is fanboyish. Its all fact. I post a chart showing marketshare and state that MS has the money and time to do whatever they want to do. You of course being a TRUE fanboy take that as an insult to your precious Apple. It wasn't attacking Apple, just saying a well known fact that MS owns the OS market, not by a little, but by a huge margin.

I even go one further and said that Win Mobile is a POS. Its a Total POS - although I havent seen Winmob 7, I doubt it will be great like the iPhone OS. Not yet anyhow, not unless they put alot of effort into it.

RE: No apple fan here but....
By Pirks on 2/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: No apple fan here but....
By themaster08 on 2/17/2010 5:49:20 AM , Rating: 2
Mac gained marketshare, that's all fine and dandy. But the original point wasn't about gaining or losing marketshare, it was about initial market share. Perhaps the OP would have been better off posting plain figures.

The way you twist the truth to suit your own half baked argument is quite ridiculous. I'm sure you can do better than that.

At least with a fanboy, they stick to their opinions. Your view shifts depending upon who posted what, because you somehow think your posts balance the argument.

But the truth is, no one really knows what you're trying to be, because even when plain facts are posted, you avoid the truth to stir up an argument, not to balance it.

I've come to the conclusion that you're worse than reader1. He might be an absolute asshat but at least he keeps Jobs's balls in his mouth. You have Ballmer's left ball and Job's right.

RE: No apple fan here but....
By Pirks on 2/17/2010 1:45:17 PM , Rating: 1
the original point wasn't about gaining or losing marketshare, it was about initial market share
You say so because it serves your version of reality better. You notice only the large market share of MS but pretend to be blind when I show you how this large market share keeps shrinking. You should learn to be objective, not a fanboy. Notice everything, stop pretending you're blind when it serves you.

RE: No apple fan here but....
By retrospooty on 2/17/2010 7:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
I see that it went down from 93.5 to 92%. That isnt relevent to this conversation. This was about MS owning that market and they do. They put their mind to owning it, they put together a plan and an OS and made it happen. Your fanboy ass saw this and took offense and made it a Mac issue. Now you saw I am ignoring the fact that it went down? No, I see it went down - I am ignoring something that it totally irrelevant to this thread.

You are twisted my friend. Your overcompensation is transparent. Its big enough, stop thinking about it - OK?

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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