Microsoft has unveiled a new version of mobile operating system Windows Phone 7 Series, which incorporates Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience.
The new phones come with a hardware button for Bing and includes six hubs that bring together related content from the web, applications and services into a single view. In addition, the start screen has an updated ‘live tiles’ that shows users real-time content directly.
According to Microsoft, the six hubs are people, pictures, games, marketplace, music + video and office. The people hub offers relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos; and the pictures hub facilitates sharing pictures and video to a social network in one step and also brings together a user’s photos by integrating with the web and PC.
The games hub offers Xbox Live experience, including Xbox Live games, spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, achievements and gamer profile; the music + video hub brings Zune experience that includes content from a user’s PC, online music services and a built-in FM radio into one place; the marketplace hub allows users to discover and load the phone with certified applications and games; and the office hub provides access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, the company said.
The partners committed to add Windows Phone 7 Series in their portfolio plans include mobile operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm. The first phones are expected to be available by holiday 2010.
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, said: “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.”