iOS and Android users, here's something to tinker with on your phones - Microsoft Windows Phone 7. Well, sort of.
Using HTML5, Microsoft created a demo of its mobile operating system's user interface, which can be loaded on the Mobile Safari browser on iOS and Android's native web browser. Throughout the demo, you have some semblance of free movement when you tap on the various features of the user interface. Further in, the demo guides you to swipe and tap on specific areas to highlight features such as Facebook chat and social media feeds within the People hub.
You won't find any Home button to return to the Start page, but the back button on your web browser will suffice. Most of the apps loaded on the Start page will give you a demonstration of its features. This isn't the case for the apps page, which just gives you an overview of how apps are listed within the page.
While this isn't a full fledged Windows Phone experience you'll get from an actual phone loaded with the OS, it does present an interesting view of the Metro UI and could entice more users towards the Mango-updated Windows Phone 7.5 OS.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has been taking on a more aggressive strategy to proliferate its mobile OS. Its partnership with Nokia has resulted in the launch of the Nokia Lumia series loaded with Windows Phone 7.5, notably the Lumia 800 that's modeled after the ill-fated Nokia N9, sans the MeeGo OS. More importantly, the partnership has also yielded more benefits through Nokia's Drive app, which brings free turn-by-turn navigation to Windows Phone.
With more partners joining the Windows Phone train, such as Lenovo, the smartphone race between Apple, Google and Microsoft will most likely be more interesting in 2012.