It wasn’t that long ago really that, whenever you thought of the term smartphone, Microsoft and it’s stable of Windows Mobile devices got thrown into the conversation. Times change, though, and before you knew it iPhones and Google’s large array of Android phones started to takeover the mobile world. While Microsoft was getting positive coverage for its changes to its PC operating system (Windows 7), they were losing ground to their superior mobile competition. A team went to work on totally rebuilding the aging Windows Mobile OS, and although it’s been a long time coming, Microsoft is ready to unleash the first wave of phones featuring its brand spanking new Windows Phone 7 operating system that hopes to woo you with it’s beautiful new interface and make you forget all about the clunky, business minded Windows Mobile that came before it.
Windows Phone 7’s biggest innovation is its design, organized around Hubs. Instead of a flat screen dotted with icons, services are grouped in tiles based on the tasks they perform. The primary Hubs will be People (contacts, text messaging, social networking), Pictures (pretty self explanatory), Office (OneNote, Word, Excel, Sharepoint), Music/Video (iHeartRadio, Slacker Radio, and Microsoft’s Zune related services, and Games (Xbox live multiplayer gaming).
The initial group of Windows Phone 7 phones will launch on AT&T. There’s the HTC Surround, a game and media focused phone with a 3.5 inch screen 16GB of on board storage, two Dolby Surround speakers and kickstand to prop the phone up on a desk. The LG Quantum is made for the speed texter in mind with its slide-out, andscape QWERTY keyboard, 3.5 inch screen and 16GBs of storage. Meanwhile, the Focus from Samsung has a ginormous 4 inch SUPER AMOLED WVGA touchscreen, but only 8GB of storage. All phones feature a 1GHz processor, built in Wi-Fi, and a 5MP camera with 720p recording capability. Each phone will cost $199.99 on a two year contract.
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