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Old 02-15-2010, 04:23 PM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default Windows Phone Live Keynote with Steve Ballmer and Joe Belfiore

As I watched the Windows phone live keynote, I figured I'd take some notes to share with Windows Phone Thoughts readers. Enjoy!

  • Everything is based around Live Tiles
  • All devices will be capacitive touch with "big, beautiful screens"
  • The device will know the people you care about and what they're doing
  • It has a slide-up lock screen just like the Zune HD
  • Works with "Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and other mail services"
  • If you want to remove someone from your home screen, you "broken heart" them - just like on the Zune - and it removes the tile. Cool...and somehow appropriate.
  • The calender provides multiple views - everything you've expected from previous phones. They seem to support some sort of merged or multiple calenders. They showed personal and work items - I hope they allow for multiple Exchange calendars. I want to finally be able to see my wife's Exchange calendar...
  • Super fast UI performance - this is crazy. The device has video out - I suspect all Windows phones will have video out as part of the base spec.

  • The phone detects phone numbers and addresses throughout the user interface - this is old hat to Windows Mobile users
  • On Bing Maps, are you zoom in on the map, it automatically shifts to satellite photo
  • Multi-touch is supported across the entire device - it's consistent with the way Windows 7 on the desktop works
  • Bing Maps is smart enough to figure out where you are - even indoors - and give you intelligent options. Looking up a restaurant? You'll see reviews of that restaurant from Yelp and other review providers.
  • The browser is based on desktop Internet Explorer code - if this demo is indicative of real-world performance, this is insane zoom performance.
  • They go a "step beyond ClearType", using sub-pixel rendering
  • WVGA resolution on Windows phones will be standard
  • Frequently visited Web pages can be pinned to the home page as a Live Tile
  • Hubs are fast, efficient ways to collect similar information
  • The people hub is a way to connect with the people you care about, and see what they're doing
  • The photo hub has a what's new feed that shows you new photos...this looks amazing. You can browse through your photos, and immediately upload to Facebook with a caption. No need to log into a Facebook app - it's integrated at the root OS level.
  • Photos are stored in albums - locally, or online. It pulls down Facebook albums and makes them look local - just like the HTC photo viewing app. Fantastic - this is the way it should work!
  • "This phone is great for business users!". This isn't just a flashy phone for consumers people.
  • The office hub. Hmm - he switched away from the live device for this hub. That means the code isn't completed yet for that. Looks like it has the full Office experience on it, but not a lot of details.
  • Music & Video is core to Windows phone. "Every Windows phone 7 series phone is a Zune". There's your "Zune Phone" people...but Microsoft isn't making the hardware, and it's not called a Zune phone. Now please, for the love of all that's holy, will people please stop yammering on about the mythical "Zune phone"? There is no Zune phone. There is only the Windows phone.
  • Windows phone 7 connects directly to the cloud; you don't need a PC to use this phone.
  • "Some of you, particularly in Europe, haven't been able to see it..." - he's referring to Zune. Yeah Microsoft, release the Zune HD outside the USA, would ya?
  • You're able to browse and control the phone via the Zune desktop software just like it's a Zune. Because it is - Zune is any device that has the Zune experience on think about Windows phone + Zune Pass = killer.

  • There's a Games Hub with Xbox Live! No live demo here either, so they're still working on the code. Spotlight shows you what's new on the service. On the phone, you can see achievements, and support "multi-player interactions". Not clear on what that means exactly.
  • Great video about using apps one at a time - a clear jab at Apple here. "Glance and go" - great illustration of apps being a single door to a single experience, whereas Windows phone 7 with tiles shows you lots of information about the things you care about. Apps are still important - and Microsoft needs to get their act together in that area - but there's a key advantage here that Microsoft brings to the table. I like the apps I have on my iPod Touch, but every one is a silo - totally isolated from each other.
  • Steve Ballmer: "We want to lead, and take accountability..." - referring to hardware specifications. Yeah, Windows Mobile got brutally fragmented which resulted in a huge suck factor over time.
  • Windows phone 7 raises the platform upon which developers can build their tools. I sure home we see some creative applications coming from developers! Microsoft needs to throw huge money behind this to jump-start development for this new platform. They can't assume developers want to code for Windows phone.
  • They want to see different form factors for Windows phones...yes, but they have to keep fragmentation to a minimum
  • With mobile operators they wanted to "raise the bar" - that's an understatement. Will this have Windows Update that works for real? It's supposed to, but they haven't mentioned it yet.
  • "We had to step back about a year or year and a half ago..." - recast, re-focus. There's an understatement!

  • Andy Lees, Senior Vice President, Mobile Communications Business - "We re-examined everything about our strategy." He mentioned that they even looked at doing their own phone, but they wanted to continue to work with partners. Partners add specific expertise, expands scale, and increase customer choice. Hell yeah! We want choice, not just a single slab in two colours.
  • They're working with Qualcomm on the core chipsets - wait a second, why isn't NVIDIA up on that slide? Isn't Tegra a core part of Windows phone?
  • Hardware partners: LG, Samsung, HTC, Garmin, Asus, Dell, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba
  • All Windows phones have four-point multi-touch
  • Each OEM partner will provide a "range" of phones when it comes to launch time
  • Mobile operators: T-Mobile, Sprint, Orange, AT&T...the usual suspects
  • "They're not just dumb pipes". Sorry Andy, I have to disagree with you there - I've never seen a mobile operator add real value; it's mostly junk
  • Some sort of a special deal between Microsoft and AT&T and Orange. AT&T was the first carrier to deliver Windows Mobile phones to the US in 2003. What phone was that? Motorola MPx100?
  • AT&T is the "premiere partner" in the USA. Yikes...there's a lot of people that won't be happy with that. I wonder though, if Windows phones will do better on the AT&T network that iPhones. Wouldn't that be hilarious? I always roam onto AT&T when I travel to the US, and have yet to run into the kinds of problems that I hear iPhone users complain about

  • Orange launched the first ever smartphone based on Windows Mobile software: the SPV in 2003. Yeah baby, rock on! That was a hell of a phone! I remember seeing it for the first time in France at a Mobius was amazing for it's time.
  • Back to Ballmer: three screens and a cloud. PC, TV, phone. Windows phone is 100% critical to Microsoft's strategy. They're not giving up, they're not quitting - they're doubling down and going for it
  • "We hope seven is our lucky number!". You bet Steve - it is!
  • When will there be Windows phones in the market? "By the end of this year...for holiday season 2010."
  • They wanted to step out and show people what Microsoft is working on rather than waiting to announce it (presumably in the fall)

  • Q&A session now. First question is whether Microsoft will ever give their mobile OS away for free. Nope. Ballmer says their model is clear and easy to understand: they build a product, they sell a product.
  • Question about consistency; how will partners differentiate? Partners want their own user interface. Andy Lees talked about consistency; OEMs can customize with Live Tiles and applications. Somehow I don't see HTC being excited about that given all the work they've put into HTC Sense.
  • "Are you going to support Adobe flash?". In v1, there's no support for it "out of the gate". Ballmer says "We have no objection to it" with a smile. Wink wink, nudge nudge, we get you Steve. ;-)
  • And that's it! The event is over. Really interesting, and really invigorating - I'm extremely excited about Windows phone 7!
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 431

Wow! It looks like Microsoft was really doing some work behind those long-closed doors in the WinMo buildings. This is a nice looking interface. Now I wonder if the release of the Zune HD was more of a proof of concept type of thing. And it worked. The new WinMo UI is very innovative. It builds off of the Zune, but also seems focused on people (like HTC has done with Sense). I am also pleased to see Microsoft exert more control over the hardware to keep the experience as consistent as possible without going to the extreme of the Apple model (that was not criticism of Apple, just an observation).

I know there was pressure on MS to release information about WinMo, but now that they have, the wait until product is ready seems interminable.
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