On Monday afternoon Microsoft will unleash the first of its range of Windows Phone 7 powered devices, marking its renewed assault on the smartphone sector.
The new moniker is a conscious move away from the old Windows Mobile branding, and Microsoft is keen to point out that the change is more than cosmetic, having adopted a rip and replace attitude to the development of the new platform. Windows Phone 7 offers a more visually appealing layout than its predecessors, featuring dynamically updated live tiles, which show users real time content updates. A user could create a tile of a friend and gain a readable, up-to-date view of a friend’s latest pictures and posts from the Start screen.
The platform is also making much of the aggregation trend sweeping the industry at present. Windows Phone hubs bring together related content from the web, applications and services into a single view built on specific themes: People, which brings together relevant content based on the person, from services such as Facebook and Windows Live; Pictures, which allows users to share pictures and video to social networks; Games, which integrates with Microsoft’s Xbox Live platform; Music + Video, which integrates with Zune content; the Marketplace app store, and Office.
The first devices to support the OS are expected to be unveiled by LG, HTC and Samsung. LG made a slight slip up earlier in the day and accidentally posted details of its forthcoming Optimus 7 device.
The details were only briefly available, but long enough to leak out onto the internet.
The Optimus 7 includes a DLNA-based Play To feature, augmented reality and Voice-to-Text, all of which can all be added as Live Tiles on the Windows Phone 7, allowing users to access their multimedia including pictures, video and music via any DLNA compatible device or use voice to text transcribing for Facebook and Twitter updates.
Every Windows Phone 7 Series phone will also come with a dedicated hardware button for Bing, Microsoft’s search service, providing one click access to search from anywhere on the phone, including the most relevant web or local results, depending on the type of query and will of course integrate access to popular Microsoft services including Xbox Live and Zune.
The first phones are set to be in stores by Christmas, and Dell, Garmin-Asus, HP, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba have already promised to bring Windows-powered devices to market.
Telecoms.com will be attending the launch event in London and will provide updates on location via twitter.
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