Print 10 comment(s) - last by Exodite.. on Jul 23 at 7:17 PM

At least five handsets will be available at launch

Though a specific launch date has not yet been announced, news surrounding Windows Phone 7 is beginning to increase. Last week, DailyTech reported handsets sporting beta versions of the upcoming OS made their rounds for developers and reviewers. More recently, Pocket-lintconfirmed Microsoft's launch partners for Windows Phone 7, including  Dell, ASUS, LG, HTC, and Samsung.

All five companies are expected to have a handset available at launch, speculated to be sometime in October.

The recent news confirms the existence of a number of Windows Phone 7 handsets in development, including Dell's Lightning, and the LG Pacific. Greg Sullivan, Microsoft's senior product manager, told Pocket-lint that at least five handsets would be available at launch, sporting both full-Qwerty and touchscreen configurations.

Sullivan also confirmed that Windows Phone 7 will not be carrier-specific, opting for Google's Android route instead of Apple's iPhone model. 

"We want as many people as possible to be able to get it", Sullivan said.

He said he hoped the new OS would be a top contender among Android OS, Apple's iOS, and RIM's Blackberry OS.

"We will offer the best aspects of Android and the best of the iPhone, giving users the flexibility of different form factors, but with the rigidity of apps that are guaranteed to work on every device that is out there," Sullivan told Pocket-lint.

Microsoft is hoping its new smartphone OS will parallel the recent success of Windows 7, which earned it a record Q4 profit. The company's latest mobile offering, the KIN line, ended in failure when Microsoft pulled the handsets just two months after launch, thanks to paltry sales numbers.

Early reviews of Windows Phone 7, running on a Samsung device that Sullivan said would not be available at launch, have been mixed at best. The OS still lacks a copy-and-paste function and third-party multi-tasking. Facebook users are forced to combine all of their Facebook friends into the phone's contact list upon logging into the application. On the positive side, the OS has a decent version of Internet Explorer, an informative homescreen, nice camera results and music player.  

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Microsoft Phones
By MojoMan on 7/23/2010 8:46:58 AM , Rating: 2
If they want to take a bite out of the smart phone market, I think they still have a long way to go. The OS is truly unique, but I believe Microsoft still has leadership issues in their phone development division.

Also, does anybody know what the app development process is like for people that want to write programs for a Windows phone? I would think that it would be difficult compared to an open OS like Android.

I have a Windows phone (getting the Droid X next week), and it has been a good phone. I just think Microsoft has their head up you know what when it comes to developing for mobile devices. So far they have royally sucked at making an attractive mobile platform compared to their competitors out there.

I'm saying this as somebody who will NOT buy Apple products, an MCSE, and somebody that loves Windows 7... Just didn't want anybody thinking I was a "hater." I truly hope Microsoft comes up with something innovative here.

RE: Microsoft Phones
By retrospooty on 7/23/2010 8:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
They will if they set their minds (and wallets) to it... But so far, they dont seem t have made that choice.

RE: Microsoft Phones
By Redwin on 7/23/2010 10:17:50 AM , Rating: 3
I agree, with Microsoft its really more a matter of how badly they want to do it.

I thought it was a little laughable the first time they said they were going to build game consoles and compete with Sony and Nintendo. Anybody who's played with an Xbox 360 isn't laughing any more, but MS lost billions for years clawing out market share with the Xbox platform.

If they were willing to spend 10 years losing billions of dollars a year in the mobile phone space to get market share, I am pretty sure they could do it; but its not clear yet whether they really want to make that sort of commitment.

RE: Microsoft Phones
By Da W on 7/23/2010 2:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Same with Zune HD, and to some extent Kin, they were test bed for windows phone 7 like the Original Xbox was for Xbox 360.

I'm a believer for that phone. Sure i would like to get the Droid X (that is until something better comes next week), but for the windows phone:
1. Zune integration seems nice. Read any review of the Zune HD out there and they will tell you it was supperior to ipod touch, but for lack of apps. Plus if you use Windows Media center, the ability to drag and drop your recorded TV shows and watch them in the bus the next morning is cool.
2. Office, and i don't plan on writing big excel macros on a phone, but watching power points on it is cool, more so if they have HDMI output. Still, for buisnesses, only that will be a supperior offering to Iphones or Droids.
3. Games. Even though there are none yet, they use the same XNA framwork that they do for Xbox. They say ported Xbox live games use 90% of the same code. Huge potential here.
4. As for the digital home, if you have a PC, some form of HTPC or media extender or an Xbox that you use as a media extender, the ability to sync all of that wirelessly with your phone is a plus apple and google don't have.

Copy and paste and multitasking will eventually come. I'm not stressed out if they don't have it out of the box. Same for apps, i'm sure all the top iphone apps that have been ported to android will also be ported to windows phone. And their next itteration of explorer will be HTML 5 and silverlight complient, and adobe is working to include flash.

Bottom line, there is a market for it. Even if 30 millions + people have an iphone or droid, there are still (6 billion - 30 millions) people left in the world without an iphone or droid. Potential market is still huge. I am more concerned about RIM.

RE: Microsoft Phones
By bhieb on 7/23/2010 10:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
Problem that I see is they screwed themselves when they licensed the Exchange push to Android and iOS. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the options, but in the past if you wanted full exchange sync you had RIM or WiMO. Now it seems any "smart" phone can do it. Good for us, bad for MS.

From an IT perspective, in a shop with no RIM server. Pre iPhone/Android if you wanted full exchange integration you only had one real choice WiMo (BiS can do it but not as fluid). Older WiMo phones were crap but we had a ton of them because of this, now, not so much.

RE: Microsoft Phones
By Mitch101 on 7/23/2010 1:42:59 PM , Rating: 2
As a messaging engineer.

If you must put iPhone/Droids on Exchange use Good Technologies.
If you've seen the issues with the iPhone and Droids on Exchange you would steer clear of those train wrecks. Its just not an enterprise solution. Good makes it tolerable. I hate recovering deleted data because its not ready for prime time but managers want to use them. Upper Management loves shiny things over things that work.

Blackberry might be the most secure/best in the enterprise but they are falling behind and make mistakes they dont own up to. The Storm is an indication that Blackberry knows it has serious competition coming. Blackberry servers make too many connections to exchange and if we can take out the BES servers and BES licenses with a Microsoft solution built in then BES will be out the door.

As far as the Mobile 7 device Microsoft owns Exchange if they screw this up there is a huge internal issue that needs to be addressed. But I'll wait till Mobile 7 is released and we see Service pack 1 for Exchange 2010.

But I'll give you the two killer words that Microsoft can use to kill blackberry/iPhone/Droid "Public Folders" and "Sharepoint"

Public Folders should be dead but they still exist. Still how will you do Sharepoint on blackberry/iPhone/Droid?

RE: Microsoft Phones
By Sothryn on 7/23/2010 11:00:23 AM , Rating: 3
What do you need to program Windows Phone 7?

Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone Beta (free)
Programming in C# or VB. Knowledge of Silverlight needed.

RE: Microsoft Phones
By Exodite on 7/23/2010 11:57:27 AM , Rating: 1
Seems to me Android has the best developing environment available then, with Java/Eclipse.

Personal preference perhaps but on top of that there's an advantage to Java if/when Moorestown or other chips takes off on Android as well.

RE: Microsoft Phones
By Mitch101 on 7/23/2010 1:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
Plenty of Visual Basic developers out there that this is not an issue. Im not sure who has more Java/VB but basically both camps have so many that its a non issue.

I would stand to say Microsoft is easier to develop for because you can drag and drop components and link them without writing any code. I have not see then in a Java development tool. Ive seen code snippets but not ways to make components talk to each other as easy as Microsoft development tools and especially Microsoft applications.

What might cause some port delays is there are Apple developers who want an easier conversion path from iPhone to Mobile 7 and the developers at Microsoft might be doing just that to smooth the transition. Basically a C compiler/conversion tool.

Lets face it the hard code developers can learn the ins and outs of a different language in a very short amount of time. 90% of the time its just syntax. I can read most Javascript but Ive never taken a class in it. Learn one language and the rest are not much different.

App development will be easy. Game development will be more difficult.

RE: Microsoft Phones
By Exodite on 7/23/2010 7:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Plenty of Visual Basic developers out there that this is not an issue.

Perhaps I should have been more clear.

I personally prefer the Java/Eclipse environment but on top of that Java offer vastly superior portability. Not just between different hardware running Android but between different platforms altogether.

That's why I consider it superior.

Not that I have anything against platform-specific development mind you.

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