Windows Phone 7 has officially hit release to manufacturing (RTM) stage. Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows Phone Engineering, Terry Myerson said, “The operating system has been finalized and is being delivered to partners around the world who will continue the work of integrating software with their hardware and networks to create amazing devices for customers by holiday season 2010.” He added “Windows Phone 7 is the most thoroughly tested mobile platform Microsoft has ever released. We had nearly ten thousand devices running automated tests daily, over a half million hours of active self-hosting use, over three and a half million hours of stress test passes, and eight and a half million hours of fully automated test passes. We’ve had thousands of independent software vendors and early adopters testing our software and giving us great feedback. We are ready.”
WMExperts have picked up a rumour that D-Day is going to be Monday, October 11th for Windows Phone 7, with the hardware hitting the streets later in the month.
This demo video by Larry , Microsoft Product Manager for Application shows an actual unit ( ASUS made ) on Windows Phone 7
It has a completely different start screen, filled with what they call “Live Tiles.” These give you real-time important information, such as for weather and stock markets. You can customize your tiles to make them relevant to your life. Here , Larry has a tile set up just for his wife. Anytime she updates one of her social networks, the tile will let him know right away. This appears to be a great way to keep track of the people you want to stay in touch with on a continual basis.
If you click on the People Hub, you will see all of the contacts in your social circle. You can click on them separately to find out what they’re up to, or choose to check out an overview from all of them.
They’re providing people the ability to create their own applications which leverage these same concepts. They’re giving devs a free copy of Visual Studio to build Windows Phone 7 apps. These apps will be the key to the succcess of the operating system.
The email and calendar service on Windows Phone 7 is being touted as the “best in class.” It’s tied in to Microsoft Exchange, which many of us use for business. Larry says that this phone represents a drastic change from the way Microsoft built phone systems in the past. Historically, they were focused on being a good partner and on delivering something that the OEM companies wanted to use. The problem with that is that while the people in Redmond love their various partners, it was taking too much away from the end user… from YOU.
There was zero control over what the end user was receiving. What Microsoft did was to take direct control over the user experience. The most important focus of the project was to deliver outstanding end user experience. Larry admits that Microsoft has had trouble in the past with focusing on something. Instead, they’ve been all over the map with various aspects of projects. Windows Phone 7 represents a very focused effort to bring you what it is you want in a phone.
The free developer tools are available on the Windows Phone site. If you already have Visual Studio, it will simply update your install to include the various elements you will need to develop apps for this phone. Apps are only available through the Windows Phone Marketplace, and revenue is earned in much the same way as with other phone platforms.
Brighthand.com had done a brief review of the new OS on a actual phone :
Conclusion : Based on my short amount of time testing out Windows Phone 7, I can tell you I like what I see. It’s both functional and good looking, and the speed is more than acceptable.
It looks like Microsoft is going to offer a decent platform, but the real question is going to be whether it will get the support from other companies it needs. Even the best mobile operating system is going to bomb without a large collection of third-party developers. This group is going to have to write new applications for the platform, as ones written for Windows Mobile aren’t compatible.
Only if the Windows Phone 7 software store is quickly populated with an array of apps will this platform will become a serious competitor for the Android OS and Apple iOS.
The apps are more important than the hardware, though it appears HTC, LG, and Samsung are prepping some good smartphones for this Microsoft’s next OS.
Another great review at Engadget, Joshua’s summary : By any measure, Microsoft’s got its back against the wall in the mobile game, and becoming competitive quickly is vital to the company’s success — and in that regard, we understand why they’ve been so adamant about getting Windows Phone 7 on shelves in time for Holiday 2010. The thing is, putting out a product that’s half-baked risks alienating early adopters at the worst possible time, especially considering that we see a clear-cut (and pretty painless) path to fixing the most egregious shortcomings. Seriously, if the WP7 team put their heads down and added a clipboard and some rudimentary multitasking, Microsoft could have an exceptionally solid version-one product in Windows Phone 7 — especially when coupled with the company’s fierce outreach to developers.Of course, that’s a big “if” — the clock is ticking on Windows Phone 7, and the industry has already proven that it won’t wait around for companies to play catch-up. It’s not about lapping the competition at this point, it’s about just being in the race — and if Microsoft doesn’t know that by now, it may already be too late.
My posts on Windows Phone 7 :
One stop summary of reviews with videos as on 24 Jul’ 10
My attendance and report at the Sneek Peek event held at Microsoft Singapore