Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Series Round-up

In case you missed it yesterday, Microsoft blew the lid open on Mobile World Congress with its unveiling of Windows Phone 7 Series (WP7S). While its name may be complicated, Microsoft took great strides to make sure its operating system doesn’t fall into that category. Completely overhauling their entire approach to the operating system, there isn’t one bit of this new mobile Windows experience that is reminiscent of its predecessors.

Taking on the Zune HD approach of bold white lines and text with heavy emphasis on custom groupings and customized content, Microsoft has done what many thought was impossible and started anew. What’s even better (at least for me and the other 20 people out there with a Zune) is full integration with Zune and Zune Marketplace! What does this really mean? Well, in theory, it means our friends across the pond will be able to finally take advantage of Zune and all WP7S users will be able to take advantage of the subscription-based music Zune offers. Basically, for $15 a month you can download any and all Zune Marketplace songs at your leisure and keep 10 of those tracks DRM-free for permanent use regardless of whether or not you keep the subscription. Of course, that’s assuming WP7S users can use the Zune Pass, but we’ll hope for the best.

A lot of the other new features — like Hubs, contact synergy and social media integration — are all much better seen than read about so feel free to check out some of the links and videos from the announcement and hands-on impressions below. The social media integration in particular is very intriguing and we’ll see if someone has finally tackled all the hurdles or just a few of them like we saw in Android 2.0.

We’ve gone through the work to include a wide variety of impressions and thoughts so you don’t have to spend hours sorting through the info. All in all, we’re really excited about the new OS and to finally see Microsoft integrating all of its products and services into one system! Keep an eye here for all the latest news and updates regarding WP7S.

Engadget's LiveBlog of the Announcement

Engadget's Editorial on Windows Phone 7 Series

Gizmodo's Impressions/Thoughts

CNET's Q&A with Microsoft

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