Microsoft has just launched its new and revamped mobile phone operating system called Windows Phone 7 Series.
The world’s biggest software company, which aims to earn back market share from the iPhone and BlackBerry, said new phones featuring Windows Phone 7 would be in stores by Christmas.
“In a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things, I challenged the team to deliver a different kind of mobile experience. Windows Phone 7 Series marks a turning point toward phones that truly reflect the speed of people’s lives and their need to connect to other people and all kinds of seamless experiences.” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft.
The version 7.0 of its mobile operating system will have a newly designed homescreen and elements from Microsoft’s Zune HD music player, as well as gaming elements from its Xbox. Office software is redesigned as well, and Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, is also integrated in the new software via a one touch search button at the foot of the OS’s UI.
The OS is divided into six area’s or “hubs”:
- People. This hub delivers an engaging social experience by bringing together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.
- Pictures. This hub makes it easy to share pictures and video to a social network in one step. Windows Phone 7 Series also brings together a user’s photos by integrating with the Web and PC, making the phone the ideal place to view a person’s entire picture and video collection.
- Games. This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, Achievements and gamer profile. With more than 23 million active members around the world, Xbox LIVE unlocks a world of friends, games and entertainment on Xbox 360, and now also on Windows Phone 7 Series.
- Music + Video. This hub creates an incredible media experience that brings the best of Zune, including content from a user’s PC, online music services and even a built-in FM radio into one simple place that is all about music and video. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on a PC and share their media recommendations with like-minded music lovers. The playback experience is rich and easy to navigate, and immerses the listener in the content.
- Marketplace. This hub allows the user to easily discover and load the phone with certified applications and games.
- Office. This hub brings the familiar experience of the world’s leading productivity software to the Windows Phone. With access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents. With the additional power of Outlook Mobile, users stay productive and up to date while on the go.
Engadget has had a chance to play with the new OS first hand, highly recommend you read their initial impressions.
Video of the new OS, more videos here.