Windows Phone 7: Are you ready?

Just in time for the Holidays. Some say its better than the Android. Neat commercials, it so true, a lot of places I go everybody is staring at their phones, doing their thing. Funny thing is, I’m one of them 🙂

Microsoft has launched its latest effort to stay relevant in the smartphone wars with the release of Windows Phone 7 yesterday. Showing off nine new devices that will run the new version of the Windows Mobile operating system, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer called them “a different kind of mobile phone.” Microsoft is differentiating Windows Phones from iPhones and Android devices with an interface in a “glance and go format:” a tiled interface of “hubs” for different tasks rather than apps per se. They also released a clever – and creepy – series of ads showing people staring at their phones, zombie-like.

Microsoft has a market share of only 5% in the global smartphone market, according to a recent report from Gartner, as compared with 9% a year ago. The iPhone – a single device, on one carrier in the US – has a 14% share. All Android phones make up another 17%, just behind BlackBerry with 17% and the smartphone champ Nokia with 41%. WinPhone 7 is starting with a remarkably heterogeneous lineup of phones: the Dell Venue, HTC 7 Mozart, HTC 7 Trophy, HTC HD7, HTC Surround, HTC 7 Pro, LG Quantum, LG Optimus 7, Samsung Focus, and Samsung Omnia 7 are all based on Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon processor. This kind of recalls Microsoft’s early-80s strategy of only supporting computers with Intel x86 chips.

They have chosen an interesting strategy to take on the established smartphone platforms. Rather than talk about how many apps they have, they pretty much do away with the whole concept of apps, focusing instead on their “hubs,” which are tiles on the home screen that when tapped, open contacts, email, messaging, pictures, etc. Ballmer claims this will “makes everyday tasks faster by getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information in a ‘glance and go’ format.”

Microsoft’s ad campaign tries to make this case in a pretty inventive way. If you walk around the city, it’s hard not to notice how many people are staring at their smartphone screens. The two new ads rolled out for the Windows Phone 7 launch play on this: phone users in “Really” stand there oblivious to the people around them and get into mishaps, while “Season of the Witch” shows a creepy world where everyone is staring at their phone, walking in slow motion while Donovan’s 60s psychedelic classic song plays.

Of course, it remains to be seen how customers take to this marketing message, but it has to be better than the official Microsoft press release, highlighted by Gruber: “The goal for Microsoft’s latest smartphone is an ambitious one: to deliver a phone that truly integrates the things people really want to do, puts those things right in front of them, and either lets them get finished quickly or immerses them in the experience they were seeking.”

Windows Phone 7: Tiles, not Apps.

Microsoft announces ten Windows Phone 7 handsets for 30 countries: October 21 in Europe and Asia, 8 November in US (Update: Video!)

By Thomas Ricker posted Oct 11th 2010 9:34AM

It may have “Windows” in the branding, but Windows Phone 7 is not the desktop PC experience shoehorned into a cellphone. Microsoft tried that with Windows Mobile… and we all know how that turned out. Today, eight months after the Windows Phone 7 OS unveiling in Barcelona, we’re finally seeing the official launch of the retail hardware: nine new WP7 handsets, some available October 21 in select European and Asian markets and others from early November in the US. The phones will find their way to over 60 cellphone operators in more than 30 countries this year. Microsoft tapped Dell, HTC, LG, and Samsung to deliver the Snapdragon-based handsets with a carrier list that includes AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Vodafone, TELUS, América Móvil, Deutsche Telekom AG, Movistar, O2, Orange, SFR, SingTel, and Telstra. And that’s just for the first wave — Microsoft has even more handsets coming in 2011 including the first for Sprint and Verizon in the US. Here’s the lineup of 480 x 800 pixel (WVGA) phones announced today:

  • HTC 7 Surround — The 3.8-inch T8788 with slideout speaker for AT&T and Telus
  • HTC HD7Schubert comes of age as a 4.3-inch HD2 cousin for T-Mobile and beyond
  • HTC 7 Trophy — the 3.8-inch Spark headed to international carriers
  • HTC 7 Mozart — another heavily leaked int’l player with 3.7-inch display
  • Dell Venue Pro — 4.1-inch portrait QWERTY slider for T-Mobile we broke as Lightning
  • Samsung Focus — AT&T’s 4-inch Super AMOLED slate we broke as Cetus
  • Samsung Omnia 7 — the i8700 is a 4-inch Super AMOLED jobbie for Europe
  • LG Optimus 7/7Q — the E900 is the official 3.8-inch global workhorse
  • LG Quantum — AT&T’s 3.5-inch landscape slider first seen as the C900
  • HTC 7 Pro — a 3.6-inch QWERTY slider for Sprint (2011)

“Glance and Go,” is the slogan Microsoft is using to differentiate itself from an already crowded smartphone market. Something we’ve already seen alluded to in that leaked AT&T ad. As Ballmer notes, “Microsoft and its partners are delivering a different kind of mobile phone and experience – one that makes everyday tasks faster by getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information in a ‘glance and go’ format.” He’s referring to WP7’s customizable Live Tiles, of course. Xbox Live integration is another biggie with EA Games just announcing its first Xbox Live-enabled wares coming to Windows Phone 7 in the fall including “Need for Speed Undercover,” “Tetris,” “Monopoly,” and “The Sims 3.” The other big differentiators are the slick Metro UI, integrated support for Zune media and Zune Pass subscriptions, Bing search and maps, Windows Live including the free Find My Phone service, and Microsoft Office Mobile.

Now quit stalling and jump past the break for the full list of handsets per carrier and country.

Microsoft announces ten Windows Phone 7 handsets for 30 countries: October 21 in Europe and Asia, 8 November in US (Update: Video!)

By Thomas Ricker posted Oct 11th 2010 9:34AM

North America

• HTC Surround, United States
• Samsung Focus, United States
• LG Quantum, United States

T-Mobile USA
• HTC HD7, United States
• Dell Venue Pro, United States

• HTC 7 Surround, Canada
• LG Optimus 7, Canada
América Móvil
• LG Optimus 7, Mexico


• HTC HD7, United Kingdom, Germany

• HTC 7 Mozart, including France, United Kingdom
• Samsung Omnia 7, including France, United Kingdom

• HTC 7 Trophy, France
• Samsung Omnia 7, France

• LG Optimus 7, Spain
• HTC HD7, Spain
• Samsung Omnia 7, Spain

Deutsche Telekom AG
• HTC 7 Mozart, Germany
• Samsung Omnia 7, Germany

• HTC 7 Trophy, including Germany, Spain, United Kingdom
• LG Optimus 7, including Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom

Asia Pacific

• HTC HD 7, Singapore
• LG Optimus 7, Singapore

• HTC 7 Mozart, Australia
• LG Optimus 7Q, Australia

• HTC 7 Trophy, Australia

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