New details about Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 OS emerge

Sat, Feb 6, 2010

News, Rumors

With Windows Mobile now in the depths of despair, and lucky to even be included in a conversation about big time players in the mobile space, comes news that Windows Mobile 7 might make its debut at the upcoming Mobile World Congress set to take place on February 15, 2010. Microsoft is reportedly confident that their new mobile OS will be ready for primetime by September 2010.

Earlier today, PPC Geeks relayed a ton of information about what we can expect to see in Microsoft’s latest efforts to remain relevant.

The user interface, apparently developed under the codename “METRO”, will bear a striking resembalance to the UI on the Zune HD and will house a completely redone start screen. Whoever tipped PPC Geeks off noted that the UI is “very clean, soulful, and alive.”

Some other details – The first iteration of the Windows Mobile 7 will not include support for Flash, not because Microsoft is taking a stand a’la Apple and touting HTML 5 as the wave of the future, but rather because the development team didn’t have enough time to implement it. It will, though, come with Silverlight support right out of the box. Bearing some other simiarities to the iPhone, the OS will reportedly not support multitasking, and will instead “pause” applications in the background and otherwise rely on push notifications.

As for apps, (because what’s a smartphone without apps?), WM 7 will make use of the Windows Mobile marketplace, and much like Apple’s iPhone/iTunes set up, apps will be exclusively available for download via the marketplace (sorry, no sideloading). Also of interest is that the app store will support “try before you buy” functionality. And corroborating reports from a few weeks ago, smartphones running the new OS will not be backwards compatible with apps developed for current versions of Windows Mobile. Lastly, syncing media to and from Windows Mobile 7 enabled devices e will be done exclusively via Zune sync software.

Next, the new mobile OS will include full Zune integration, full Xbox gaming integration, and full support for social networking. One of the biggest surprises is that Microsoft will not permit OEM interfaces to run on top of the new UI. So at the very least, there will be some consistency. In this regard, though, Microsoft better deliver a homerun with their homegrown version of WM 7. In the past, OEM interfaces have proven to be vastly more appealing and intuitive than anything coming out of Redmond. So long, HTC.

Some other details relayed by MobileTechWorld include the following:

WM 7, though I guess it’s now being referred to as Windows Phone 7, supposedly has a browsing experience that’s much faster than the iPhone 3G and Microsoft is aiming for the iPhone 3GS. As an aside, and this is becoming pretty standard in the race to dethrone Apple, Microsoft is aiming for where Apple is now – meanwhile, Apple will presumably launch a next-gen iPhone sometime this Summer, an upgrade which Steve Jobs has reportedly referred to as an A+ upgrade.


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