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Event Coverage

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Launch

By Seow Tein Hee & Wong Casandra - 12 Oct 2010

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 - The Wait is Over

The Wait is Over

It has been a long, hard road for Microsoft. And the journey has only just begun. Just several hours ago, Steve Ballmer gave the official unveiling to the long awaited update to its mobile platform, welcoming Microsoft Windows Phone 7 into the limelight. Amidst the fanfare and hype that has been built upon this new and improved mobile operating system (OS), the important question is - where forth are the changes and updates?

Announced during Mobile World Congress 2010, we were given a brief introduction and glimpse of Windows Phone 7. Nearly six months down the road, news came in pretty slow for the new Microsoft mobile OS until a previous preview session shed some light on the updates that has been implemented. And after a series of device information leaks, and some early hands-on experience with the new Windows Phone 7 devices, the stage is finally set for its debut.

Windows Phone 7 showcases a simple UI that allows you to create Hubs for faster and seamless connectivity with your social networks, documents and even, favorite songs.

If you've read our earlier reports on Windows Phone 7, you'll find its basic premise to be unchanged - built around the Hub concept and a strong emphasis on integrated social feeds, Windows Phone 7 devices will be focusing on a fully integrated and connected experience, both offline and online. If you haven't yet seen how this would look like, here's a visual advertisement from Microsoft that clearly shows the various hubs brought about in the Windows Phone 7 interface:-

What we are able to share today, is the actual user experience that we've been reserving our comments on. In one word - smooth. Compared against its Windows Mobile 6.5 or even 6.1 predecessors, Windows Phone 7 is a far cry from its earlier days. Its UI has been vastly improved, and showcases some of the finer details from Microsoft's Zune HD media player. Speed, efficiency and smooth transitions have been clearly demonstrated by Windows Phone 7, and is even more apparent as we pushed through with multiple apps during our hands-on time.

The Hubs haven't seen any major remodeling, but what impressed us further was a definite improvement in its speed and overall performance on its UI.

Vendor specific hubs, such as LG's Panorama shot, will be preloaded as a Hub on their Windows Phone 7 devices. These apps will also be available for download in the Marketplace.

We were duly impressed at its keyboard, which gave us one of the best accuracy and speed in typing.

At the launch, we also had our first taste of the the Xbox Live integration on Windows Phone 7. Games are aplenty for you to download and try before purchasing. They are also tied to your personal account, and can be registered to no more than five phones.

Applications will be one of the core focus points for Windows Phone 7, and you can expect more apps coming your way on the revamped Marketplace for Windows Phone 7. Telcos and phone manufacturers, like LG for e.g., will be contributing their fair share of apps to the Marketplace as well.

Of course, what is Windows Phone 7, without its accompanying devices? From the earlier announcement, a total of nine Windows Phone 7 devices have been announced globally, some of which will be making its appearance in Singapore. During the Windows Phone 7 launch event, we had a glimpse of the devices from Microsoft's old and new partners - HTC, LG and Samsung. We share some of our initial impressions of these Windows Phone 7 devices in the next few pages.