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Microsoft unveils plans for first nine Windows Phone 7 handsets

post #1 of 334
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Microsoft on Monday announced its initial arsenal of handsets built around the new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, in what many believe is the company's last-ditch attempt to regain traction in the mobile handset arena that's fallen into the hands of rivals like Apple and Google.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant is pitching the new handsets as "a different kind of phone" that showcase a 'glance and go' format. Company chief executive Steve Ballmer said that in today's busy world, people are spending more and more time with their heads down looking into their phones rather than interacting with the people around them.

As such, he said Microsoft is looking to break the current smartphone convention by helping people quickly and easily find and consume data so that they can pick their heads back up and stop missing out on life's important moments.

For example, one of the core features fueling Windows Phone 7, which shouldn't be confused with Windows 7 for the PC, is a new Start screen with something called Live Tiles for highlighting a user's personal content. These customizable and configurable squares of data siphon real-time updates from the Web -- such as news, appointments or the status of friends -- and present them at a glance on the phones' home screen.

Users can also create Live Tiles from applications and music, then position them in a particular order on their Start screen. In this way, a user's Start screen can not only contain quick access to FaceBook and local weather information, but it can also display the next appointment in a user's calendar app.

Other features include a social gaming network with roots to Xbox LIVE, in addition integration of other key Microsoft services and platforms such as Office Mobile, Zune, Windows Live, and Bing search.



In total, Microsoft unveiled a portfolio of 9 different phones built around WVGA displays (480 x 800 pixels) from its 4 handset hardware manufacturers: Dell, HTC, LG and Samsung. They'll run across more than 60 mobile operators -- including América Móvil, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Movistar, O2, Orange, SFR, SingTel, Telstra, TELUS, T-Mobile USA and Vodafone -- in more than 30 countries when they arrive in parts of Europe and Asia on October 21st and the U.S. on November 8.

All nine of the first Windows Phone 7 phones that will ship before the holiday shopping season will include a high-performance Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm. Additional models will continue to arrive in 2011, including the first phones for Sprint (such as an HTC 7 Pro) and Verizon. In addition, Microsoft said it plans to sell some of the phones through big-box online retailers like Amazon.com.

Windows Phone 7 handsets announced Monday, as listed in order below from left to right

Windows Phone 7 Lineup

Dell Venue Pro (United States)
HTC HD7 (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain)
HTC 7 Mozart (France, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia)
HTC 7 Surround (United States)
HTC 7 Trophy (France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia)
LG Optimus 7 (Canada, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia)
LG Quantum (United States)
Samsung Focus (United States)
Samsung OMNIA 7 (France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany)

One feature that won't be present in Windows Phone 7 devices at launch is Copy & Paste, which Microsoft promises as part of a software update in early 2011.
post #2 of 334
Wow ... no verizon!
post #3 of 334
3+ years late to the party and no copy/paste? Geez.
post #4 of 334
I'll give it six weeks.
--SHEFFmachine out
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #5 of 334
who picks all the terrible colors MS always uses?
post #6 of 334
The Dell looks really ugly and why do they still add a slide out keybord ? Is it not supposed to be a touch screen? Well at least it shows like 7h battery life which is kind of what I expect of a smartphone. But the others??? 3h-4h!!
You better not switch them on.
post #7 of 334
Lots of different hardware, yeah, no way this can fail. How long will it be until we hear the first "It's the drivers fault, or no driver available" comments.
post #8 of 334
7 phones? really?

sounds more like a desperate last attempt.
post #9 of 334
I wonder if it will come bundled with Norton or McAfee?!?
post #10 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post

7 phones? really?

sounds more like a desperate last attempt.

If you actually read the article, it clearly says 9
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"In March we told you 2011 would be the year of iPad 2, and it is, but we're starting 2012 early." - September 2011

~Ireland

Such a true sig
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post #11 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoodlesNoodlemann View Post

3+ years late to the party and no copy/paste? Geez.

Its being added early 2011
"In March we told you 2011 would be the year of iPad 2, and it is, but we're starting 2012 early." - September 2011

~Ireland

Such a true sig
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"In March we told you 2011 would be the year of iPad 2, and it is, but we're starting 2012 early." - September 2011

~Ireland

Such a true sig
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post #12 of 334
I'm interested to see what happens with WP7.

Apart from the stupid name, it seems like a fresh direction. It will be interesting to see if that new direction appeals to consumers, or just confuses them.

C.
post #13 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

I'll give it six weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Lots of different hardware, yeah, no way this can fail. How long will it be until we hear the first "It's the drivers fault, or no driver available" comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post

7 phones? really?

sounds more like a desperate last attempt.

I disagree.

As much as I hate Microsoft and have the lowest opinion of their design chops, these look like credible competitors to me. They are striking right at Apple's achilles heel with these things and I would expect that unless the actual user experience on the hardware is shite (and early reviews are that they are actually pretty slick BTW), that they will gain a lot of traction. Apple is focussed like a laser on the consumer as a sort of target to sell media to. Their offerings in terms of productivity however, are minimal, beta-esque and fraught with usability problems. This is the main weakness of the iOS platform IMO and Microsoft is going for the jugular here.

The whole "tiles" metaphor seems junky and clunky to me, but people will put up a lot to get the integration and because a lot of the views Microsoft is giving on your data with these phones is actually useful as opposed to the iOS way of doing things. Business users, and anyone who actually does work on their phone will gravitate towards these kinds of devices until Apple gets their finger out and decides to make phones or tablets for that part of the market (if they ever do).
post #14 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

I'll give it six weeks.

Now that's just mean! Very funny, though! Made me smile!

Best
post #15 of 334
I saw videos on Endgadget today demonstrating the features of WP7. As long as the hardware is good, WP7 has potential.
post #16 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

who picks all the terrible colors MS always uses?

The same guy that does their icons found on MS OS any version!

I still hate that black strip to the right... makes the rest look as if off alignment... Of course, we are talking MS here... they invented 'off alignment'!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #17 of 334
Wall Street impressed, MSFT up a dime.
post #18 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I disagree.

As much as I hate Microsoft and have the lowest opinion of their design chops, these look like credible competitors to me. They are striking right at Apple's achilles heel with these things and I would expect that unless the actual user experience on the hardware is shite (and early reviews are that they are actually pretty slick BTW), that they will gain a lot of traction. Apple is focussed like a laser on the consumer as a sort of target to sell media to. Their offerings in terms of productivity however, are minimal, beta-esque and fraught with usability problems. This is the main weakness of the iOS platform IMO and Microsoft is going for the jugular here.

I agree that the WP7 looks quite credible. But I think MS would be stupid to target Apple. Apple is not their rival here.

Their real target should be Android. Their goal is persuading Android manufacturers to switch to MS. And I think the way to do that is to keep pushing their "delightful" and "personal" selling points.

My concern is that Microsoft is culturally very weak at communicating this kind of message.


An example of very bad Microsoft communication

C.
post #19 of 334
Look quite nice.
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #20 of 334
Microsoft is actually going to ship Windows Phone 7 (WP7) without copy and paste? Are you kidding me? What year is this?

Everything about WP7 seems rushed. The hardware is underwhelming and inferior to the iPhone. The interfaceLive Tiles specificallylooks like some bad web design from the late 90s. The animations are cheesy and overdone.

Microsoft thinks theyre going to regain market share with this? Its not even competitive.

(Sadly, WP7 is probably more polished than Android.)
post #21 of 334
i'm a huge fan of real-time info on your homepage [HEY APPLE, why does my weather icon always say it's sunny and 73 degrees????] but none of the screen caps actually show that data on the home page. you see different tiles saying "3 messages" or "25 emails" or a bunch of tiny pictures of your facebook friends. there's one big picture for a photos app. nothing i see will keep a user from looking for sub-pages for actual info.

i would LOVE it if apple allowed you to customize the info on your iOS lock screen - to include a selection of widgets [weather, stocks, scores, recent sms, etc...]
post #22 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

or a bunch of tiny pictures of your facebook friends...

Need to stress that a little more! Because 'tiny pictures' is a understatement. It doesn't look bad when the image is 300% actual size... Show that tile at actual size in a photo with five facebook friends and let's see how distinguishable they are and how well you can make them out without pinch to zoom!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #23 of 334
Let all rejoice ... the Zune Phone has arrived ... they should have called it the iBallmer Phone XLS 700.
post #24 of 334
Hahaha...Live Tiles will have the opposite effect on the 8 people that buy one of these things. Ballmer is such a knucklehead.
post #25 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I disagree.

As much as I hate Microsoft and have the lowest opinion of their design chops, these look like credible competitors to me. They are striking right at Apple's achilles heel with these things and I would expect that unless the actual user experience on the hardware is shite (and early reviews are that they are actually pretty slick BTW), that they will gain a lot of traction. Apple is focussed like a laser on the consumer as a sort of target to sell media to. Their offerings in terms of productivity however, are minimal, beta-esque and fraught with usability problems. This is the main weakness of the iOS platform IMO and Microsoft is going for the jugular here.

The whole "tiles" metaphor seems junky and clunky to me, but people will put up a lot to get the integration and because a lot of the views Microsoft is giving on your data with these phones is actually useful as opposed to the iOS way of doing things. Business users, and anyone who actually does work on their phone will gravitate towards these kinds of devices until Apple gets their finger out and decides to make phones or tablets for that part of the market (if they ever do).

Is it not true that BB and Microsoft both have lost market share to Apple in the business sector - despite their perceived productivity prowess?

With the SDK, companies do not have to rely on Apple. They can create their own productivity tools. Which tablet dominates the landscape if not the iPad?
post #26 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

I agree that the WP7 looks quite credible. But I think MS would be stupid to target Apple. Apple is not their rival here.

Their real target should be Android. Their goal is persuading Android manufacturers to switch to MS. And I think the way to do that is to keep pushing their "delightful" and "personal" selling points.

My concern is that Microsoft is culturally very weak at communicating this kind of message.


An example of very bad Microsoft communication

C.

I'd say Microsoft's real target here is and should be RIM. They are in decline, with market share percent way below installed base percent, and if Microsoft can pick up a significant number of the pieces there they might have something. No one's going to sell their iPhone or Android to buy a WM7 device, but as RIM flounders MS could stay in the game that way.
post #27 of 334
Reminds me of when I zap a fly with my electric fly swatter... It's spins uncontrollably and then dies just like Microsoft is.
post #28 of 334
It will be real interesting to see how Apple plans to differentiate their offering to ensure they stand apart of the sea of clones...

Releasing a new iPhone once a year on a single carrier, isn't the way to do it.
post #29 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by axual View Post

Let all rejoice ... the Zune Phone has arrived ... they should have called it the iBallmer Phone XLS 700.

Ahah, not exactly true, but it was funny nonetheless
post #30 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffhrsn View Post

Hahaha...Live Tiles will have the opposite effect on the 8 people that buy one of these things. Ballmer is such a knucklehead.

The UI reminds me a little of the cross media bar on my PS-3 and Bravia TV. In principal it seems logical enough, but in practice, not so much. I can't believe what a pain in the ass it is to get to the sleep timer on the TV.
post #31 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I'd say Microsoft's real target here is and should be RIM. They are in decline, with market share percent way below installed base percent, and if Microsoft can pick up a significant number of the pieces there they might have something. No one's going to sell their iPhone or Android to buy a WM7 device, but as RIM flounders MS could stay in the game that way.

I agree RIM are looking weak.
But Microsoft does not sell devices to users. It's business model is closest to Android.
So it is compelled to look to Android handset makers as customers.

It will be interesting to see which platforms WP7 end-users come from.

C.
post #32 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

It will be real interesting to see how Apple plans to differentiate their offering to ensure they stand apart of the sea of clones...

Releasing a new iPhone once a year on a single carrier, isn't the way to do it.

One can say a lot about the WP7, but one thing's for sure, it ain't no iClone. MS really did something different here, and I for one, applaud that kind of initiative. I guess the clone spot was already taken by Android, and that WP7 had to be different or it wouldn't sell one single phone, but still, it's a good thing to see, microsoft being original...
post #33 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Releasing a new iPhone once a year on a single carrier, isn't the way to do it.

If Apple's profits are to be taken seriously, then releasing a single product once per year certainly seems the best strategy the market has seen to date.

iPhone is only locked to a single carrier in the USA. And I think that bizarre relationship is about to end in the next couple of months.

C.
post #34 of 334
They're all ugly as sin. I wouldn't be caught dead with one.
post #35 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... and more time with their heads down looking into their phones rather than interacting with the people around them.

As such, he said Microsoft is looking to break the current smartphone convention by helping people quickly and easily find and consume data so that they can pick their heads back up and stop missing out on life's important moments.

For example, one of the core features ... -- and present them at a glance on the phones' home screen.


Psychologically speaking, that does not make any difference what phone or features you got to differentiate this. When you are looking at your phone, almost everything else falls aside of your conscious attention. Level of engagement is different across individual of course but that does not take away the fact that human cannot do more than 2 novel things at once. By continuously updating the 'tile's' content, the info presented is no longer 'attended' or learned so it is by definition a novel stimulus and therefore you are bound to look down at it rather than what MS stipulate you to do. Still, it is nice feature to have but you can no longer pretend to attend to your phone as a quick excuse in socially awkward situation since the tiles are huge.. people could see!
post #36 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post

7 phones? really?

sounds more like a desperate last attempt.

Instafail, whether it's 7 or 9... both are beyond the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magical_Number_Seven,_Plus_or_Minus_Two">avera ge person's short-term memory</a> limit (ie, between 4-7 depending on person).

Also going to cause purchase paralysis. This is why Apple only sells 1-3 versions of each of their products (ie, MacBook, MBP, iMac, MacPro, etc). People know what they're getting and have a limited choice (which promotes decision making).

At least in the Android world, there is only one "top" phone at any given time.

Microsoft, I better hope you got your business buyers primed, because for consumers, this is a face-plant of a sales strategy.
post #37 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

It will be real interesting to see how Apple plans to differentiate their offering to ensure they stand apart of the sea of clones...

Releasing a new iPhone once a year on a single carrier, isn't the way to do it.

The question on my mind is how are those 9 WP7 phones going to differentiate themselves from their sibling 'clones'?

This is something the carriers are trying to do with android, to mixed reviews...

i.e. any chance Google can pay one of the carriers to replace Bing with Google on a WP7 phone? [I didn't think so]

I look at those two rows of near-identical phones, with near identical screens, and wonder what will be the determining factor for people whose carrier allows them the choice of a few of them. Price? Some must-have feature the siblings down't have?

It won't be available software, screen resolution, or OS features... so what will it be?

EDIT: Oh yeah, and single-carrier is a US-centric idea.
post #38 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

If Apple's profits are to be taken seriously, then releasing a single product once per year certainly seems the best strategy the market has seen to date.

iPhone is only locked to a single carrier in the USA. And I think that bizarre relationship is about to end in the next couple of months.

C.

I have to agree. It goes back to the comment about not having drivers as the cause of a fail due to the MS software operating on many different handsets.

IMO, one of the reasons for Apple's success both in computers and phones is that they control the hardware that runs their software and can ensure a good, consistent user experience.
post #39 of 334
MS sells promises, while Apple sells phones.
post #40 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

If Apple's profits are to be taken seriously, then releasing a single product once per year certainly seems the best strategy the market has seen to date.

iPhone is only locked to a single carrier in the USA. And I think that bizarre relationship is about to end in the next couple of months.

C.

Apple amazing profits are do the fact they created the "real" smart phone market. They got it right... Lots of people bought their product because their product was new and totally innovative. As a result Apple made lots and lots of money.

Now, Apple has some serious competition now with Google and Microsoft. Will the iPhone continue to be a cash cow for years and years to come? I am not so sure.

The multiple carrier question in the US is still an unanswered question. There is nothing outside of rumors that indicate Apple is going to be offer on anybody other than AT&T.
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