Those of you smart phone veterans definitely remember not too long ago when Windows Mobile held a respectable share of the smart phone market and WinMo phones could be found on the high end of every carrier's shelf. But as time passed and innovation was completely ignored Windows Mobile became a stale, stagnant OS that was sustained primarily by its underground developing community.
Like many WinMo users I jumped ship and helped contribute to the swelling market shares of Apple's iPhone, Googles Android, RIM's BlackBerry and even Palm's (HP's) WebOS. Well now Windows is back to reclaim its position in the mobile phone arena. Beginning the end of October and early November Microsoft will unleash its new Windows Phone 7 devices. Capitalizing on the success of Windows 7, Microsoft has completely re-invented its OS for the mobile arena!
The most impressive part of Windows Phone 7 to me, is the integration of many of Microsoft's various services; most notably, MS Office, Xbox Live and Zune. Microsoft seems to have put a lot of thought into making a seamless experience across all of its premier products and services. Utilizing what they call "hubs" user will launch into various apps, or interfaces to utilize the devices different functionalities. At launch Dell, HTC, LG and Samsung will provide devices which will initially be limited to AT&T and T-Mobile with devices coming to Sprint and Verizon in 2011. Check out these devices below plus a little info on the new OS.
- HTC 7 Surround -- The 3.8-inch T8788 with slideout speaker for AT&T and Telus
- HTC HD7 -- Schubert comes of age as a 4.3-inch HD2 cousin for T-Mobile and beyond
- HTC 7 Trophy -- the 3.8-inch Spark headed to international carriers
- HTC 7 Mozart -- another heavily leaked int'l player with 3.7-inch display
- Dell Venue Pro -- 4.1-inch portrait QWERTY slider for T-Mobile we broke as Lightning
- Samsung Focus -- AT&T's 4-inch Super AMOLED slate we broke as Cetus
- Samsung Omnia 7 -- the i8700 is a 4-inch Super AMOLED jobbie for Europe
- LG Optimus 7/7Q -- the E900 is the official 3.8-inch global workhorse
- LG Quantum -- AT&T's 3.5-inch landscape slider first seen as the C900
- HTC 7 Pro -- a 3.6-inch QWERTY slider for Sprint (2011)
Though I wont be jumping back on the Windows bandwagon any time soon, I have to say I am impressed. It will be interesting to see MS attempts to get back into the hands and pockets of consumers. I really like the AT&T U-verse integration with the ability to control and watch DVR'd content (free for existing customers $10/month for non-U-verse customers), Netflix, and Xbox Live integration. I welcome Microsoft's return to the smart phone arena; more competitors means more competition, which is all win for us consumers! The big question is will it be enough to persuade smart phone users to come back from Android and Apple land?
Check out the impressive Xbox Live integration: