Microsoft has unveiled its Windows Phone 7 Series, a new platform that, among other features, brings together Xbox LIVE games and Zune music/video on a mobile phone. With Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft claims it is taking a different approach to phone software. For instance, on the Start screen, dynamically updated "live tiles" show users real-time content directly, breaking the mold of static icons that serve as an intermediate step on the way to an application. Create a tile of a friend, and the user gains a readable, up-to-date view of a friend's latest pictures and posts, just by glancing at Start.
Windows Phone 7 Series is based on the concepts of "hubs" which bring together related content from the Web, applications, and services into a single view to simplify common tasks. Windows Phone 7 Series includes six hubs :
- People. This hub delivers a social experience by bringing together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.
- Pictures. This hub shares pictures and video to a social network in one step. Windows Phone 7 Series also brings together a user's photos by integrating with the Web and PC.
- Games. This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer's avatar, Achievements and gamer profile.
- Music and Video. This hub creates a media experience that brings online music services and even a built-in FM radio into one simple place that is all about music and video. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on a PC and share their media recommendations.
- Marketplace. This hub allows the user to discover and load the phone with certified applications and games.
- Office. This hub brings the familiar experience of Microsoft Office productivity software to the Windows Phone. With access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents, along with Outlook Mobile.
According to Microsoft mobile operators who will support the Windows Phone 7 Series include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefnica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc. The first phones will be available by holiday 2010.