Today, at the Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona, the biggest software company in the world - Microsoft Corporation - finally unveiled its newest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7 Series!



More than just being Microsoft's follow-up to Windows Mobile 6.5 - the supposed iPhone OS killer, Windows Phone 7 Series offers a complete overhaul from all previous versions of the OS. How so? Watch this 3-minute Windows Phone 7 features guide video:



Here's a quite lengthy demo and hands-on video:






Key Points:

User Interface

1. Windows Phone 7 Series (WP7S), unlike its predecessors, is focused on regular mobile phone users instead of just business users.

2. Windows Phone 7 features a new METRO User Interface, which is a bit similar to Zune HD's UI.

FYI: Start, Search and Back -- these are the only 3 hardware buttons required by WP7S

3. Windows Phone 7 UI requires capacitive touchscreen as it supports multi-touch gestures.

4. On the Start Menu, you will see TILES, which show you the apps and functions that you most often use or do on your phone like calling, surfing the net and text messaging. TILES also show real time data from apps like Facebook, Calendar, etc.


Tiles


* You can change the color of the Tiles

Internet Experience

5. Browse the web using Multi-touch gestures like pinch to zoom out and double tap to zoom in, among others.

6. WP7S also supports WVGA screen for web browsing.

7. The Browser identifies phone numbers and addresses on the page and makes them clickable for calling or for locating on the map.

8. Browser supports multiple tabs

Connecting with People

9. WM7S features People Hub, which shows you the people in your phonebook whom you usually call, exchange messages with or connect with, in general:



10. People Hub also shows you all of your Facebook friends, Gmail contacts and other social networking buds.

11. People Hub syncs with Facebook and shows you updates from friends.

Search

12. Search (via pressing Search button in front of the WP7S device) is contextual -
When you're in People Hub, it functions as a people search platform, helping you look for friends, groups, etc.
When you're on the Start Menu, it optimizes to being a web search and becomes sort of a mobile Bing.
When you're in your E-mail inbox, Search helps in filtering and looking for mails.

E-Mail

13. E-Mail on WP7S supports all popular email formats

14. Set-up is a breeze

15. Active sync kills the annoying 'loading' screen

Screen

16. WP7S supports WVGA screens and autorotate for devices with slide-out QWERTY keypad.

Calendar

17. WP7S Calendar syncs with your other online calendars (Gmail, Outlook etc.) via Active Sync

18. It also offers different calendar 'views' or formats e.g. Agenda, Daily, Monthly

Photo Gallery

19. Pictures Hub supports multi-touch gestures

20. Syncs with your social networks and shows you the latest photos of your friends and shows them yours too.

21. Mosaic view shows you all of your recent or favorite photos and works like a slideshow.

22. Pictures Hub auto-organizes your photos into folders and albums based on how you took them, how you downloaded them from your PC or how you uploaded them on your social networking networks.

23. Pictures Hub syncs with your social networking accounts - Facebook, etc.

24. WP7S chooses Picture Hub background photo automatically.



Zune

24. You have the best of Zune HD experience built in. Windows Phone 7 Series will ship with the very same music and video features as the Zune HD. WP7S also allows users to manage their music via their desktop with the Zune PC software.

25. WP7S Syncs with music market

26. and syncs with your social networking accounts too.

Typing

27. WP7S has type autocorrection feature - for when you're typing your status message for social networking sites or when you're just typing text message for your friends.

28. Edit text by tapping on any letter of a mistyped word - highlighting it for editing. No need to use back button.

***


Other features not mentioned in the hands-on video include:

29. Office Hub



Office Hub allows you easily sync your Microsoft Office documents between your phone and your PC. Office Hub comes with OneNote, ideal for notetaking, and Documents and Sharepoint for presentation collaboration. Office Hub also syncs with Outlook and offers features found on the desktop version like mail flagging.

30. X-Box Live



Windows 7 Series phones will come with a mobile version of Xbox LIVE, complete with Spotlight feed, gamer's avatar, achievements and profile display. WP7S also allows users to purchase games and apps easily from the Windows Marketplace and play games with other users.

***


Off hand, things are looking up for Windows Phone 7. It looks simple to use and the interface is attractive.

Phones running on Windows Phone 7 Series OS are expected to arrive in Q4 2010, specifically during the Holidays. Yet another thing to be excited about this year.

*thumbs up*



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