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Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 today

Feb 15

Written by:
Monday, February 15, 2010 2:33 PM  RssIcon

Ballmer at MWC 2010"Now for what EVERYONE'S been waiting for......."  Microsoft announces their NEXT mobile strategy!  Please read on for a bit of a summary and my spin on what I got out of the annoucement.

Ballmer at MWC 2010Today Steve Ballmer announced Microsoft's (next) mobile strategy. 

Belfiore actually does the announcingWell, hhhhmmmm actually Ballmer didn't but this guy did (Joe Belfiore) (3h long, yup long).





Highlights?  Glad you asked, here we go (in no particular order, buuuuuut most likely the order Belviore/Ballmer presented them in LOL). 

  • more focus on phone usability
  • metaphore and design "that's a little different"
  • "a phone's just not a PC"
  • make the phone phone reflect your unique personality and needs
  • "there it is, thank you...we like to think that what we're doing is building and delivering different kind of phone"
  • "live tiles" displaying "glanceable information"
  • "capacitive touch enabled with beautiful screens"
  • have the device "know the people you care about"
  • "we wanted the experience to be delightful and fun"
  • "live tiles, think of it as super icons that have a connection to the internet"
  • can customize the icons placement where you want
  • the App Bar is somewhat of a new idea, but not really
  • "intellisense" for phone numbers and locations, IN THE OS, is the first NEW thing I've heard about WP7, I have to admit, that's very cool!  No special coding (or so I hope)
  • "pinch zoom...we support multi-touch and all these multi-touch gestures"
  • that prototype phone Joe's holding is VERY THICK!  WOW!  HUGE compared to other phones, I REALLY hope "they" put that sucker on a diet!Man that's a thick phone
  • A LOT of time spent on apps, I wanted to find out more information about the OS, HW, THEN applications last, not first, ya, sure, the apps LOOK cool, but what about the OS and HW?
  • something I noticed.....where is the HUGE uproar of clapping?  Where are the ovations?  Where are the roaring CHEERS about ANYTHING presented?  Ok, maybe there were a lot of "suits" there, but come on, wasn't there anything to get people excited?  I'll leave that up to you to decide (and please leave a comment)
  • hhhmmm aaaahhhh There we go, OneNote....still trying to push that one eh MS?  SharePoint too eh?
  • More Zune?  WP7 based off of MS' music player/store
  • Looks like they've created "Hubs" on the phone to act/behave like "Libraries" do in Windows 7 (one place/location for mutliple pieces of data)
  • "metaphors are consistent from one device to another"
  • "Xbox games to the value-proposition" two phrases I NEVER thought I'd ever hear together!
  • Uh, since when does "code" equal application demos?  Belfiore talks about "showing code" but we haven't seen one line of C# or VB.NET code at all, WTF?
  • data centric vs application centric....nice idea, not quite sure "my Mom's" or "my nephew's" ready for that!
  • Ballmer was a bit disappointing and flat, a bit too "business-like" for me, he could have summarized his part in about, oh, 5m IMHO
  • Andy Lees comes on stage in a suit.....Ballmer, ya, I expect that, but another "suit" to talk about something as "personal" as a cell phone?  Come on guys?!
  • Cell phone providers (AT&T, Orance) presented but....uh......where are the actual cell phone makers?????  Where's Samsung?  Where's Nokia, know....the guys who are going to be MAKING the phones WP7 is going to be running on?!?!??!?!?!
  • Orange-suit made a jab at AT&T (at the 2:29 mark) ooohhhhhhh not something you do man, just nasty to take jabs like that at an annoucement
  • UH.....WHERE IS THE TALK ABOUT DEVELOPMENT????!?!?!?!?!?!?!  .NET/C++/C#/VB.NET?  dedicated tools or Visual Studio?  OOOOOHHHH we'll hear about them at MIX next month, putting something off again.....ggggrrrrrrrrrr 

WP7 prototype screen

Want to find out what WP7 looks like?  Here's the first main page.  hhhhhmmmmm first thing that jumps out at me is, well.....the battery icon is in the same spot (top right) as the iPhone (ok, so maybe the time's in different location, I'll give you that much).  And there are three buttons at the bottom instead of the iPhone's one.  HHHHMM trying for the "more is better" analogy boys?  Two columns vs four....ok, so maybe not.

Gizmodo has a side by side comparison of the iPhone and the WP7 OS (not sure what phone it's running on, Samsung maybe?)

Side by side iPhone comparison with WP7

My summary of what was presented by Belfiore, WP7, is, well......hhhhmm how to put this's just another iPhone.  Really.  I mean come on....look at the first few trite quotes up above, yes, they are quotes, maybe you missed them, but I didn't!  Microsoft basically re-engineered the iPhone but in the Micrsosoft way, it's just another iPhone.  HHHHMMMM Can you smell another Windows vs OS/2 battle brewing?  What about a VHS/Betamax or DAT/CD or Chev/Ford or whatever competetive analogy you want.  It's just another iPhone.  Microsoft didn't come out with anything SPECTACULAR or STELLAR, or OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If you've had your head in the sand for the last three years (aka ignoring the iPhone talk) then ya sure, you're probably amazed at this.  But come on......REALLY?  The iPhone's going on three years now, and MS isn't going to have anything out on hardware that's not out until September!  Talk about being fashionably late to the party.

I was let down with no mention of development issues.  Things like no backwards compatibility, no Visual Studio 2010 support (out of the box, only with supplemental downloads), there was talk about "hardware standards" but nothing mentioned, no screen resolutions, no CPU min standards, memory standards.  These things take up a few minutes to mention.  MS made their annoucement THREE HOURS LONG, you think they COULD have said 5m about development issues.  I would have LOVED to have heard about the rumoured WPF/XAML capabilities for WP7, but I was left three hours poorer and without confirmation of this.  ggggrrrrrrr

Oh, and there's still one last thing, as developers for the WP7 you're left with, the Microsoft application store called Marketplace and the insane costs involved with releasing an appication.  As much as I hate to admit it, Apple rules the roost there.  Yes, this is something MS can change, and I really hope they do (follow Apple's lead), cause there's a reason why there's only 750 apps on there compared to Apple's 140,000!

To be quite honest, I'm very surprised at how little publicity (outside of Microsoft) there is for this launch.  "Very underwhelming" is the impression I'm left with.  Gizmodo, who did a very favourably titled Windows Phone 7 Interface: Microsoft Has Out-Appled Apple article says in it's closing sentenece, "Looking at what they have shown today, I think they may be in the right track. But, like the Zune HD, it just may be too late."  And with 634 comments as of 20:00, there's definitely a lot of people with their own opinions (good'n'bad).

Now, I'm still on the fence about which way to go (Apple vs MS), but I guess I was hoping today's Microsoft announcement would help me make up my mind.  Ya, I guess I was hoping for a bit too much.  Yes, they have some good ideas and applications, but there are still a lot of questions left up in the air.  To be completely fair, I'm very interested in reading what Apple's comeback to this is.

So, now that you know a bit more about Microsoft's mobile strategy with WP7, we can all go grab a coffee and get back to coding!



WMC 2010 Keynote: WP7 Annoucement (vid)

Microsoft: Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series

Gizmodo: Windows Phone 7 Interface: Microsoft Has Out-Appled Apple

Engadget: Windows Phone 7 Series hands-on and impressions


Location: Blogs Parent Separator TechTidBits

4 comment(s) so far...

Re: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 today

Apple or MS? Is one "better" than the other?

"Smart" comments like: as much as I hate to "switch sides" or hate to admit it... I just don't get why a choice has to be made.

My point is Apple is not better than Microsoft n'or is MS better than Apple. They serve different purposes. Long ago, apple made a decision to target media. MS/Linux are clearly more development-centric or business centric than Apple.

Ok, let's start with something that's easy to grasp: I won't take my road bike to go trail riding. Just like I'd rather not use my mountain bike to do a 150km road trip. The argument: "My Bike's better than yours" or "My dad's stronger than yours" is dated. People get too caught up in the details and forget the purpose. "Stronger" implies a person being able to apply a greater force than another one for a given task. Does that argument make sense if you're talking about lifting an apple (no pun intended)? What about if the strong dad's a programmer. Where's the use of his strength? Where's the advantage?

Anyways, I'm ranting.

Apple's tools (let's call'em tools for the sake of argument) are mainly for media consumption. Blackberry doesn't make a better phone than apple n'or microsoft's next generation stuff. It just serves a different purpose. I got the iphone 'cause I like the fact that anyone can develop a game or app for it and you can still do emails and watch youtube videos and listen to music. They're all features. I beleive that you don't need a 6000$ phone that does everything. You get the phone to suite your needs. Period. You want games, applications galore and develop them? Apple. You want business, Blackberry. You want retartedly-late-in-game, non-innovative, I-wanna-do-everything-a-computer-can, Get MS.

Back to my point. If you're in the market for a phone, get one that suits your needs or desires. Don't get one 'cause its better than the other. If both do the same thing, get the one that supports the provider you like, or the cheaper one or one that supports the developer platform you want to use. And please don't just get the one that has a "feature" that no one really needs. Yes, quick windows and views are useful, but I like my icons. I like to be able to access everything quickly. And besides, if I'm reading my emails, I'm not paused in a game while texting a friend and browsing on the internet while looking at the next picture I want to use for my background.

So, as for myself, I picked the Apple one 'cause I liked it. Now that blackberry has the Storm 9999, versus the apple 3GSX5-ZR1 with super duper anti-gloss. I have more choice but it doesn't matter 'cause the product that suites my needs: email, phone, multimedia, occasional games. I'm happy.

Faster OS, hardware.. Who needs to benchpress 325 lbs to lift a piece of fruit?

That's my point.

Robbo out.

By Robin on   Thursday, February 18, 2010 10:36 PM

Re: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 today

Thank you Robin for your comments. Lots to talk about! :> I wish we were doing this over chicken wings cause I LOVE these kinds of geeky tech talks! LOL

re switch sides or choices
I just find with such limited spare time, there's only a few precious hours in the evening (and MAYBE on weekends) to spend on "personal interests." And if those personal interests are competing (WPF vs iPhone dev) and they are pretty much mutually exclusive (right down to the HW), it's hard not to feel like you have to "pick one." At least for a short time that is. I know of one guy, SG, who is the master at picking up new technologies, diving down deep into them, then in four/five/six months starting all over again. I would love to be able to do that.

re MS vs Apple
Hey man, them's fighting words! It's always been about.......uh, oh..... ok. I'll step off the soap box now. Forgive me, I've got over twenty years of pushing Microsoft. It takes a bit of time to wear off. LOL But seriously, I'm getting too old for those religious types of arguments. I remember having them with OS/2 VS Windows. DOH! Now a days, it's all about, what can I get done NOW! Not next week, NOW! Intranet time is so passé, it's all about NOW!

re wheres the advantage
There are two parts to your logic, and I have to admit, histoircally I've usually ignored the second (out of ignorance or convenience?). What I mean is, "apply a stronger force" and "for a given task." The former has always been about Windows and Office and VB, or now VB.NET/C#. But for "given tasks" could mean using Apache instead of shoe horning in an IIS solution. Right now, I guess I have to admit I'm running an Apache server, yup, I admit it, I'm running Apache to serve up my SVN source code control repository. Best tool for the job for the task at hand. I'm learning in my growing years. LOL

re ranting
That's what comments are for and I try to respond! I'm no where near being big enough to ignore people. I want people to know IF they put a comment, I'll reply! (and if I don't, I owe you a coffee!)

re suites your needs
That's maybe where we digress a bit. There are two aspects to consider for people like us, end user and developer considerations. As an end user, you buy/use a smart phone, and all the points you make are COMPLETELY valid. But as a developer......who's used to Visual Studio, who knows C#, I am searching for a mobile strategy from Microsoft, not Apple. But here we are, and I'm looking at Apple. Ironic isn't it?

re !@#$%^-late-in-game
HAHHA LOL THAT speel says a lot! :> LOL

re ZR1
I did catch your car numberings there! LOL

Thank you very much for your comments, ALWAYS appreciated! Have a good one!

By phenry on   Thursday, February 18, 2010 10:50 PM

Re: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 today

re suites your needs
I agree. You asked me why I chose the apple. 'Cause my great ^ 8 grandfather was adam... That's why! heh. Seriously, You asked why, I told you why I chose it. Wasn't planning on "developing for" but did plan on "test with". Web pages for example. If I want to make a handheld media type web version of the sites I code. And I design mostly in .NET when I can (if not hosted on linux).

So my comment was mostly from an end-user point of vue.

HOWERVER, and yes, there are 'but's, I did mention that one should suite your needs. "If you're in the market for a phone, get one that suits your needs or desires."

Obviously, your intended use is slightly different than mine. So the Storm or the MS might be better than the Iphone. Again, if you're making applications, not web pages since all devices interpret web nowadays.

I'd be more than happy to arm wrestle arguments over wings. Provided they're suicidal. That's when things really get interesting!


By Robin on   Friday, February 19, 2010 12:48 AM

Re: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 today

You lost me at linux! DOH! LOL!

But yes, I did ask why "YOU" got your phone and I understand why now.

As for arm wrestling, naaaaa, I can't do anything like that unless I'm in hockey skates and there's a penalty box around! DOH! haha

Have a good night! :>

By phenry on   Friday, February 19, 2010 12:51 AM

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