A “new direction” for Microsoft with Windows Phone 7

12 Oct 2010

Microsoft launched the Windows Phone 7 platform at a conference, showing off their rival to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

David Fitzgerald of Microsoft said that their mobile OS will be the “simplest and easiest to use in the market.

The interface looks quite similar on all three of the phones they showed off, suggesting that this look will continue on all other phones.

It’s a highly graphical interface, with large images and text. The home screen features Live Tiles, which is a menu of large images for certain features and apps that update on the fly, which users can customise how they like.

Swiping to the left of the homescreen brings you to the full menu. Microsoft said they wanted to make the interface as straight forward as possible, preventing users from ‘digging in’ too much to get into options.

Windows Phone 7 focuses on fusing various functions into ‘hubs’ to help prevent users from opening and closing out of different menus. For example, the People Hub combines contact details, status updates and texts all in the one area.

In terms of apps, Fitzgerald noted that, while they weren’t focused on pushing thousands and thousands of apps straight away, there will be a selection to choose from on the Marketplace on release and that they were focused more on quality as opposed to quantity.

Many of Microsoft’s staple products have been built in to the operating system.

Google rival Bing’s services is included, with its search forming a staple part of the phones. It seems as though Microsoft are really pushing for the search engine to take much of the market share that Google has earned.

Other services include Microsoft Office productivity apps, Windows Live and Xbox LIVE

Gamers can import their Xbox LIVE avatar and gamerscore into their phone and play mobile games against others, recording their progress on their username.

Games that will be featured on the phone platform include Guitar Hero 5, Star Wars, Toy Story Mania and UNO. A representative at Microsoft said that while they won’t all be available on release, they will be soon.

Windows Phone 7 will be available over all phone networks and the first companies to implement them in Ireland include HTC, LG and Samsung.