NEW YORK — Microsoft formally introduces on Monday its contender for the smartphone battle. The Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, designed to topple down the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones, was unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at a press event in New York.
“It’s a different kind of phone,” Ballmer said. “It gets you in, gets you out, and back to life as fast as humanly possible.” The series of small icons, typical in smartphone user interface, is replaced with dynamic and active tiles that is configurable, enabling users to move the tiles and arrange them accordingly to level of interest. Microsoft hopes the layout will be easy to navigate and intuitive for users.
“The Windows Phone 7 lineup is will be used by smartphones by Samsung, LG, and HTC, which will include nine phone models available in 30 countries,” Ballmer said.
The launching of their new phone operating system is important for Microsoft as it continues to struggle with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. Microsoft Windows phone 7 is a fresh start for Microsoft in smartphones as it represents a new approach. According to comScore, sales of Windows Mobile downed from nearly 20% last year, controlling less than 11% of the U.S. smartphone market share. Many consumers deemed Windows Mobile outdated, both in the software itself and the phones that ran it.
Windows Phone 7, based on Windows mobile platform, features user interface made up of “Tiles” which are linked to applications, functions, features, and individual items. It is a multi-touch technology that uses a default dark themed interface, improving energy efficiency on OLED screens.
Applications and features of Windows Phone 7 are organized into “Hubs”. Windows phone 7 can integrate local and online content which makes Social networking very real. Windows Phone 7’s follows Zune HD’s appearance and functionality for its two multimedia hubs, Music + Video, and Pictures. Console-like gaming experience is possible in Windows Phone 7 as the technology behind XboBox integrated. Windows Phone 7 integrates deeply with other Microsoft products.
According to some reviews online, Windows Phone 7 seems promising but Microsoft will have to put a lot of effort in convincing potential buyers that its unique features are compelling enough to beat the iPhone, an Android phone or even a BlackBerry.
Soon comments on the Windows Phone 7 is the inability to cut, copy, and paste and systems inability to support Adobe Flash applications, though the company has revealed that it will work on it in their next version.
Microsoft Phone 7 smartphones would be available in the United States on AT&T’s network which is also crucial for the phone line company as it will end its exclusive contract with Apple for the iPhone in January.
According to AT&T CEO Mobility and Consumer Markets Ralph de la Vega “When Microsoft first showed us Windows Phone 7, we knew it was going to be a winner. It was different than anything we’ve seen.”
Similar to Microsoft, AT&T is looking for ways to bolster its lineup by the end of the year. According to Lloyd Walmsley, senior analyst at Primary Global Resarch “AT&T is very committed to throwing a tremendous amount of marketing muscle behind the Windows phones”.