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Microsoft Cellphones

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Lineup 391

adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft officially unveiled its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, announcing that it will be available on a total of five devices in the US. Windows Phone 7 handsets from AT&T and T-Mobile will begin shipping in November, while devices from Sprint and Verizon will be available next year. In all, Microsoft announced nine Windows Phone 7 phones, the remainder of which will be available in Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Singapore, and Australia. It will debut in some European markets on Oct. 21. While early signs are encouraging for Windows Phone 7, it is being deemed as do or die for the future of Microsoft's business."
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Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Lineup

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  • by ChicagoDave ( 644806 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:14PM (#33860726) Homepage
    I've played with a developer phone in the last month and I'm currently an iPhone user. I have to say I think they're on to something. I like the iPhone, but I'm probably going to switch to WP7 in November. The integration between app and data is an order of magnitude higher than any other phone out there.
  • by Orga ( 1720130 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:14PM (#33860730)
    Electronics Arts also announced the first wave of games coming to Windows Phone 7, including "Need for Speed Undercover," "Tetris," and "The Sims 3." Tetris? That's a launch title? Ouch. Need for speed came preinstaleld on my droid, much to my annoyance. Wonder how much bloatware MS is going to get crammed in their OS.
  • So... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:20PM (#33860790) Homepage Journal

    Where is cut and paste and multitasking?

    It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can get any buzz with this. It has to be better than IOS, Android, and WebOS. It is only available in the US on AT&T and maybe TMobile. So on AT&T will people buy it over the iPhone? Will AT&T push it much? TMobile is the smallest carrier but they are a good carrier. Will they push it over Android since they have a long record with Android and the G2 has just launched?
    Microsoft is just in a very bad position. It isn't like the XBox where they came from nothing. They have a product that for the most part is boring and have been beaten up by both Apple and Android in this market.
    Unless WP7 is just super great it will be blah... Or to put it better it will be the Next of Kin.

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:20PM (#33860802) Journal

    I don't think they're shooting as much for marketshare, as they are to enforce licensing on everyone who is not Apple (and Apple while they're at it). IF they can't sell phones, they'll still make money off of the mobile industry (see also their wee lawsuit).

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tekiegreg ( 674773 ) * <tekieg1-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:23PM (#33860834) Homepage Journal
    Tend to agree. As a devoted .NET developer who recently got a droid and (via third party app) watched my droid sync up with my office Exchange Server nearly instantly. I'd been hanging on to my Windows Mobile 6.1 for quite some time, but moving from that to Droid was like taking 20 steps ahead in technology.

    Mind you Droid is not without a few quirks,but the differences are phenomenal. Droid is clearly the better platform.
  • Re:Do or die? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tokul ( 682258 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:24PM (#33860850)

    Or buy Nokia or RIM out of couch-cushion change

    They already bought Danger Incorporated. If they buy RIM and repeat T-Mobile Sidekick disaster, PHBs should learn something about MS.

  • by sr8outtalotech ( 1167835 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:26PM (#33860878)
    I saw a demonstration of Windows 7 Mobile last week. Microsoft decided to remove the VPN client and remote desktop features that were available in previous versions of Windows Mobile. But the award for lamest concept by a large margin was replacing cut and paste with auto-complete. That didn't go over to well during the Excel Viewer demonstration where people were asking how you transferred formulas from one cell to another.
  • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:37PM (#33860964)

    "And the iPhone seems to have gotten a little long in the tooth, falling behind Android in many areas, feeling very rigid and "controlled", with few choices."

    I don't know if you haven't really read anything about WP7, but it is cloning the Old iPhone, no "cut n' Past", no real multi-tasking, no flash, no side loading applications.

    If iPhone "rigid and controlled" is bothering you, it won't change much in WP7, why not go to Android. What do you think WP7 will give you that Android won't?

  • Here is my opinion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yuioup ( 452151 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:40PM (#33860998)

    My problem with Microsoft is that they insist on programming everything in-house and lock you in to in-house networks and in-house apps. I prefer a rich ecosystem like the iPhone and Android where people can make their own apps and have them integrate into your social networking life.

    Microsoft - once again - seems to want to make all your decisions for you and shove all their products down your throat.

    I seriously wonder how many Microsofties will eat their company's dogfood and geniunely love it.


  • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:44PM (#33861036)
    They have XBox Live integration. I don't really understand it because i never got into live, but i have friends who love their xboxes dearly. They would do just about anything to have a phone that lets them see their buddies' achievements not to mention allow them to get new achievements. Some of them are even willing to buy out their iphone contracts to move to windows 7 phone.

    That "killer" feature strikes me as something of a double edged sword though. Most analysts think a phone platform has to win enterprise adoption to really be successful, but what CTO for a large business is going to see xbox live integration as a selling point? Sure it's also got active sync and great exchange integration, but so does blackberry.

    personally, i'd be interested in getting a device if there is an analog to the ipod touch (something i also wish existed for android, and no, i don't consider the weird chinese android devices an option). afaik the zune HD is not win 7 phone, yet. I have no interest in breaking my current phone contract though.
  • Re:Do or die? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:46PM (#33861068) Journal

    Dude, they will return to 80's tactics.

    #1) Put out an "Update" that breaks connectivity between the desktop and the Iphone and Droid Phone.
    #2) When the two fix the phone to make it work again do number 1
    #3) repeat #1-#2 several times.
    #4) Release WP8 pointing out that there phone never has problems communicating with your desktop
    #5) .......

  • by vmxeo ( 173325 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:51PM (#33861126) Homepage Journal

    I'm not going to talk heavily about whether or not Windows Phone 7 is a good consumer phone. Only time will tell what kind of market adoption it will have verses the iPhone, Android, and Blackberries already present in the market.

    I will, however, bemoan the complete lack of enterprise-ready features. Support for Exchange and and Office are good, but it's still a step backward from Windows Mobile 6.5. There's no support for 3rd party or enterprise apps. No mention of tethering or security certificates. Enterprise features such as have been promised at a future date, but I need a enterprise ready phone now. Maybe the Windows mobile 6.5 platform can be stretched to cover this need another year or two. But at this point, they're very little reason not to accept the reduced set of enterprise features and move to Android or the iPhone.

    In its rush to grab a chunk of the consumer market, Microsoft may lose what market it had in the enterprise world.

  • by RingBus ( 1912660 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:55PM (#33861172)

    "Some people had hardware issues -- oh no"

    A 65 percent failure rate on a piece of consumer hardware?

    A 1 percent failure rate would be insane. That would be 1 out of every 100 consoles consistently failed. Well made consoles like the PS3, Wii, PS2, GameCube have failure rates in the sub .1 percent range.

    The Xbox 360 is a piece of garbage. Microsoft knew it was defective before they rushed it out the door back in 2005 and did nothing to fix the inherent design defects.

    Microsoft deserves the hate of gamers and the console world. They are reaping what they sowed. The console world has prided itself that it was gaming that just worked. You plugged your new console in at the start of a generation and it kept working to the end of the generation. Microsoft' piece of garbage Xbox 360 made a mockery of that concept.

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @01:57PM (#33861208)

    So basically leveraging all their existing monopolies. Wonder when and how much the EU will fine them?

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @02:03PM (#33861264)

    The problem is that MS is entering into a very crowded market with few advantages. They can't rely on existing WinMo users because more of them are business users which is different from the consumer focused Windows Phone 7. It's pretty much surrendering the business crowd to Blackberry in that regard. It seems like a decent, solid OS but it starts out way behind Apple and Android. There also isn't any features that entices most people to get it. There are not many apps which uses the same walled garden approach as Apple. As with anything new (especially MS), I advise people to wait after the 1st gen for them to work out the kinks.

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @02:03PM (#33861272) Journal
    I have a few Facebook friends who work at Microsoft and are excited about the Windows 7 phone. They haven't explained to me why, though. Microsoft seems to have done a better job marketing it within the company than without. I'm willing to bet this guy [slashdot.org] works with Microsoft. 'The integration between app and data' (in other words it can open excel documents) has been the only reason to ever buy a Windows Mobile phone, so that's not exactly a giant leap forward.
  • by farnsworth ( 558449 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @02:07PM (#33861322)
    I was on a flight next to someone with an early prototype, and it does indeed look like a nice UI. I was a little baffled by the lack of UI labels, but the guy seemed to have no problem getting around.

    The apps that I saw looked solid. But, on the other hand I'm curious about how well the browser is going to work. It ships with something like IE7 AFAIK, and it seems like it's not going to be a great experience. Are sites really going to have a mobile-webkit version and a mobile-ie version of their content? That seems crazy to me, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it will work out. Scanning the Engadget coverage of the announcement, it looks like they didn't even mention the browser, let alone demo it.
  • Re:If I may add (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @02:23PM (#33861502)

    Sharepoint? You've never used it - Drupal is a lot better from almost every viewpoint.

    Unless you're a business that uses Office for everything. You know, like almost all of them.

    I mean, I'd pretty much rather stick my hand in a lawn mower than be a Sharepoint developer, but it's good at what it's supposed to be good at -- even if that thing isn't sexy or what you'd want it to be.

  • by falsified ( 638041 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @02:44PM (#33861718)

    I wouldn't be surprised to see RIM gone in 3-4 years. Their niche has been the corporate world and integration with pre-existing corporate software. Even a half-assed attempt by Microsoft would be enough to take over RIM's customer base.

    Not to get into another smartphone flame war, but I've never been impressed by Blackberry's ability to do anything. I know they were so much better than the competition pre-iPhone, but with iOS, Android, and (internationally) Symbian, I don't really understand how they exist other than through corporate agreements that haven't expired yet. Does anyone out there LIKE Blackberries (for reasons other than that you're used to them by now)?

  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @03:09PM (#33861960)

    That's because there are no specifics. The whole thing is an absolute mess.

    I have two friends who have Win phones (also HTC), and they both want to see Redmond razed to the ground. I've tried to help them do simple things now and then, like getting a godamned photo off the phone, and it's a nightmare. One is planning on an iPhone and the other an Android when their contracts are up.

    It's like the other poster said: MS just crammed a windows-like interface onto a phone. They didn't rethink the GUI in tiny screen terms like Apple and Google did.

  • Re:Bashing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @03:52PM (#33862462)
    Windows Phone 7 seems to be like the Zune. There was nothing really wrong with it. The problem MS faces is that like the Zune it's an "okay" product in a crowded market place. If you are entering that kind of market, you have to be "spectacular" to get noticed. With the Windows Phone 7, they can't even rely on existing users as this release is incompatible with older versions and is heavily consumer focused so existing users are unlikely to buy them (business users). Time will tell if this was a smart move by MS.
  • by EXTomar ( 78739 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @04:10PM (#33862642)

    The quirk is that like many other pieces of Microsoft technology, while truthfully claiming it is "cross platform" it is really only implemented and running smoothly in one central platform. Live is in Messenger but is only a thin/lightweight client. There is a web interface at xbox.com but again the functionality seems limited. Even on PC the support is highly variable and dependent on the vendor. It truly shines on the 360 though but even the version we see to day on the dash is only after years of aggressive revision. I expect Win7 Phones to have some neat features but nothing to make me change how I use Live, XBox or other flavor.

    But beyond that, Microsoft's fixation on Apple seems wrong. Microsoft's competition is really RIM/Blackberry for the business crowd and Google for replacing them in the Phone OS market. While Microsoft was failing to deliver on Windows Mobile 6, RIM came in and swept up the tech business customers with a lot of enterprise connectivity features while Google came in a replaced Microsoft as "the guys who make phone OS". Apple is worth some attention but RIM and Google cost them their base so why focus on Apple?? Microsoft's current obsession on beating Apple is derailing what they should be concentrating on so I'm not really surprised Microsoft thinks it is important to have Live integration to win against Apple.

    Is Microsoft the new Palm? I guess we'll find out but it isn't a good sign when Microsoft seems equally interested in rattling sabers with phone fabricators to make Win7 Phones for patent protection...or else!

  • Re:Do or die? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2010 @08:26PM (#33864830)

    Danger was mostly consumer-level gear, wasn't it? Plus I think they were buying the engineering team.

    Consumer smartphones are a large part of the market these days. As for Danger, if that was the reason they bought them, then they failed miserably. Almost all of the Danger team has long since been let go or left on their own. There are plenty of sources online to find the full story out, but basically the management was convinced to buy Danger to help with the "Project Pink" phone that was running alongside/separate from WP7. Due to mid-level management infighting/politics/etc things got... let's say screwed over and even before that project got out the door it was basically doomed to failure. While we won't know the full story, it's very likely that in the end, the Kin (which was the result of Project Pink) was rushed out the door in order to meet contract obligations before it was quickly killed and swept aside. So in the end, Danger was a wasted purchase, except for whatever patents and cloud based sync technologies they got out of it.

    All that said, none of that really has anything much to do with Windows Phone 7. I do agree, though, that this is MS' last chance to push into the mobile space at least for quite some time. I expect them to pull out all the stops to make WP7 a success- including legal intimidation and other questionable tactics. I also agree with the parent that it would make SENSE for MS to start by focuses WP7 in the business space, let Android and Apple fight it out for now as they take on RIM and try to knock them out. Later on they could use that base to tacle the consumer market. Alas, however, I do not expect MS to go for that plan. They will probably try to market both markets and only do so half as well as they otherwise could have done and in the end, they are likely to wind up a distant 3rd place in market share for smartphones at best.

  • Re:Do or die? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by khchung ( 462899 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @08:48PM (#33865012) Journal

    When #1 happens, I will be looking for a Mac. It has now reached the point where my phone is more expensive and more important to me than my PC.

    If they pull that trick again, it is bye bye Microsoft.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2010 @10:01PM (#33865414)

    I've had numerous Blackberries, a Gen1 iPhone, a 3GS iPhone, a Droid 1 and now a Droid 2. I still carry a Blackberry as well for three reasons:

    1. The hardware is designed for messaging. Touch-screens are alright, but when you need to hammer out a long email or fast-paced messaging, the physical keyboard on BBs can't be beat.

    2. The push system is great. I love receiving emails instantly from any account I choose. iPhones can do Exchange and Yahoo accounts instantly. I think they finally added GMail, but it wasn't instant as of last year when i had the 3GS. Android can do Exchange, and I believe Windows Live/Hotmail now due to their ActiveSync upgrade, but it still doesn't always play nice if you have an Exchange account already on the device.

    3. Battery life. If you configure 3-4 email accounts on Android or iPhone, the battery life suffers exponentially. Especially in low signal areas with no wi-fi, your battery will be dead in a matter of hours. Since BB actually has cental servers configured that do all the dirty work on the backend, your device is only "pinged" if you will when a message is received and subsequently pushed to your device. No battery drain from constant checking of email. I have GSM Blackberries that can go a week without a charge if used lightly. CDMA ones, not so much, but it still beats the hell out of any other platform I've seen.

    So, there ARE reasons to use a BB, even in this day and age, but they aren't flashy or cool, and that's probably why millions of people still swear by them. They are about getting things done in the most efficient manner, as far as I have seen. I don't think they are going anywhere, but they may not be the industry heavyweight they once were.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire