Microsoft today joined its partners in revealing nine new Windows Phone 7 handsets that will be available this holiday season from leading mobile operators in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
"We have a beautiful lineup in this first wave of Windows Phone 7 handsets," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "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."
Windows Phone 7 will be available in a variety of sleek form factors from device-makers such as Dell, HTC Corp., LG and Samsung, and from mobile operators including America Movil, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Movistar, O2, Orange, SFR, SingTel, Telstra, TELUS, T-Mobile USA and Vodafone. All Windows Phone 7 phones will include the high-performance Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm. A broad selection of phones will begin shipping in holiday 2010 with more arriving in 2011, including phones from Sprint and Verizon Wireless. In addition, select models will be available at Microsoft Store locations and from Amazon.
Windows Phone 7 has been designed to help people easily find and consume data, information and services from the Web and applications. The new phones are distinguished by unique design and integrated experiences built from Microsoft's portfolio such as Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Office Mobile, Zune, Windows Live, Bing and more.
For example, the customizable Start screen with Live Tiles is a personal experience, showing people their own content. The Live Tiles come to life with real-time updates from the Web such as news, appointments or the status of friends. New Live Tiles can be easily created from whatever content a consumer wants, such as applications, websites and music.
The phone's interface features Hubs for categories such as People, Music and video, Photos, Games and Office. These Hubs are never more than a few screens away, no matter how deep the user navigates within the phone. The People Hub, for example, pulls in Facebook status updates from friends as well as providing the more obvious contact information and phone numbers. Users can take actions like responding to updates or sending a text message right from the People Hub rather than having to find and launch a particular app. The Hubs also update live, pulling in pictures and information so that in many cases a glance and a couple of clicks will be all that users need to bring themselves up to date with phone messages, e-mail and what is happening with friends and colleagues.
Applications will be available for the phone as well via a Hub called the Marketplace.
Windows Phone 7 is also the first phone to put the power of Xbox LIVE into the palm of people's hands with a lineup of game titles. In addition to the titles already announced earlier this year, Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) today announced the first wave of EA games coming to Windows Phone 7 this fall. As part of Microsoft's managed portfolio of Xbox LIVE titles, all EA games for Windows Phone 7 will be Xbox LIVE-enabled. EA will deliver a portfolio of titles that offers something for every mobile gamer, from casual to core, including "Need for Speed Undercover," "Tetris" and "The Sims 3."
Windows Phone 7 is also the first to offer the Zune music experience on a phone: People can play their music collection, synced wirelessly from their PC, or stream or download new tunes from Windows Marketplace. An optional Zune Pass subscription is available.
Search is made easier with a dedicated button to help people find what they need, whether in contacts, in Marketplace, in e-mail or on the Web. From the Start screen, the Search button delivers Bing for mobile, delivering Web results, local information, maps, directions and more.
The Windows Live solution helps people manage pictures, Windows Live calendar, Office OneNote Mobile and more. The free Find My Phone service new on Windows Live can remotely ring, lock, erase and show the location of your phone on a map.
New Windows Phones
The following devices will come to North America, Europe and Asia Pacific in the holiday 2010 timeframe.
In North America:
- HTC Surround, United States
- Samsung Focus, United States
- LG Quantum, United States
- HTC HD7, United States
- Dell Venue Pro, United States
- HTC 7 Surround, Canada
- LG Optimus 7, Canada
- LG Optimus 7, Mexico
- HTC HD7, United Kingdom, Germany
- HTC 7 Mozart, including France, United Kingdom
- Samsung OMNIA 7, including France, United Kingdom
- HTC 7 Trophy, France
- Samsung OMNIA 7, France
- LG Optimus 7, Spain
- HTC HD7, Spain
- Samsung OMNIA 7, Spain
Deutsche Telekom AG
- HTC 7 Mozart, Germany
- Samsung OMNIA 7, Germany
- HTC 7 Trophy, including Germany, Spain, United Kingdom
- LG Optimus 7, including Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom
In Asia Pacific:
- HTC HD 7, Singapore
- LG Optimus 7, Singapore
- HTC 7 Mozart, Australia
- LG Optimus 7Q, Australia
- HTC 7 Trophy, including Australia
Samsung Omnia 7
The Samsung Omnia 7 comes with a 4-inch AMOLED (800 x 480) touchscreen as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz processor for computing and a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash. The handset can take high definition 720p video.
The device weighs 138 grams and has 8GB of storage capacity.
The phone's AMOLED screen can be used to play Xbox Live games, videos and other multimedia features.
LG Optimus 7
LG's first Windows Mobile 7 handset will be the Optimus 7 (E900), which has a 3.8-inch touchscreen (800 by 480 pixel), a 5-megapixel camera and can also record high-definition video in 720P mode. The phone also includes an accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and digital compass.
The phone also supports the DLNA (digital living network alliance) protocol and measures 12.5 centimeters by 6cm by 1.1cm.
Windows Phone 7 is one of Microsoft's biggest product launches for years and is seen by some as a make-or-break step for the company in the cell phone market.
Microsoft's new phones will have a tough job elbowing aside a revamped set of rivals. In August, RIM launched its new $200 BlackBerry Torch, with a touchscreen and slide-out keyboard.
In June, Apple launched its new $200 to $300 iPhone 4.
A slew of similarly priced Android phones, such as Motorola' s Droid X and Samsung's Galaxy series are also grabbing customers.