As many had speculated, Microsoft yesterday unveiled its Windows Phone 7 Series platform at the Mobile World Congress, with CEO Steve Ballmer saying the first handsets will follow late in the year in time for the Christmas season.
After taking a bruising in the smartphone market for three years, Microsoft has finally announced a platform that is more than the iterative improvements of 6 and 6.5.
The company’s vice-president for Windows Phone, Joe Belfiore, who presented the new platform to a press crowd of 450 at Barcelona, said that in developing its next-generation OS it wanted to build a “different kind of phone” and move away from the sameness it found in the market. “The 7 Series isn’t just a new chapter for us but a new beginning for Windows Phone.”
Device website Engadget said the new OS “does away with pretty much every scrap of previous mobile efforts from Microsoft, from the look and feel down to the underlying code -- everything is brand new.”
Belfiore said the focus was on a smart design that makes software and hardware work in unison. A key to the new UI is the use of super icons or “live titles” that are dynamically updated to show users real-time content directly. When a user creates a tile of a friend, he can see an up-to-date view of a friend’s latest pictures and posts.