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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 7

The day has come, dear readers! Microsoft, at their Windows Phone 7 launch event, has officially announced all the things we’ve wanted to know about WP7 since its original public unveiling in Barcelona.
You’ve got news about which carriers WP7 will come to, what phones will be available at launch and of course an explanation of just how WP7 is different from iOS, Android and Blackberry.
The Handsets
NOTE: Unless otherwise mentioned, all phones have same internals (think: A 1GHz Snapdragon, 576MB of RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, (at least) a 5MP camera w/ flash, GPS, HD video recording and a 800×480 screen.
Let’s start with High-Tech Computers…Untitled
HTC introduced five new smartphones. Each slightly, or in certain cases, significantly different from the other.
  • 7 Surround: A 3.8” smartphone with a slideout speaker. You’ve got standard WP7 internals along with Dolby Mobile and SRS Surround Sound tech which AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega says “you just have to hear”. It will cost 199$ and will available on AT&T and Telus.
  • 7 Trophy: A 3.8” smartphone. The little brother to the more luxurious 7 Mozart (see below). It will be Vodafone exclusive in countries where Vodafone is available.
  • HD7: Yes! The true successor to the HD2 is now official. Internals are standard WP7. But you’ve got a nice 4.3” screen. It will be available on T-Mobile, O2, Telstra, Movistar, Bougues Telecom and a variety of careers in Italy.
  • 7 Mozart: A 3.7” smartphone. Compared to the Trophy’s 5MP camera + LED flash, the Trophy offers an 8MP snapper with Xenon flash. Exclusive to Orange in specific countries.
  • 7 Pro: A QWERTY slider+tilter headed for Sprint 2011.
(Trophy and Mozart are not coming to US)
Then we have Samsung…
Two phones were announced.
  • Omnia 7: A 4” Super AMOLED coming to AT&T at 199$
  • Focus: Another 4” Super AMOLED but this one is slated for Europe only. It will be carried by Orange, SFR, Movistar and T-Mobile in Europe.
Dell has a 4.1” portrait QWERTY slider called Venue Pro that will be exclusive to T-Mobile in US at launch. It is pictured below:
And lastly, you’ve got LG’s Optimus 7 (3.8”) and Quantum (3.5”; exclusive to AT&T). Both can be seen in the picture below (Optimus on left, Quantum [known as Optimus 7Q outside US] on right)
Other News from Launch Event
At the launch event, Steve Ballmer talked about how WP7 is very different from other mobile operating systems. WP7’s slogan is Glance and Go.
"Microsoft and its partners are delivering a different kind of mobile phone and experience – one that makes everyday tasks faster by getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information in a ‘glance and go’ format."  – Ballmer
By glance-able information, Ballmer is referring to WP7’s Live Tiles that act like widgets on the homescreen. Xbox Live Hub is also a big BIG WP7 feature. You’ve also got the Metro UI which focuses on typography and negative space; this is how next-gen UIs should look like! Other than that, there’s the full Microsoft Office Mobile suite of software, full Zune compatibility, Bing Search and Maps, Windows Live. [via Engadget]


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