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February 14, 2010

Microsoft unveils new version of mobile operating system

Includes series of hubs that bring together related content from web, applications and services into single view

By CBR Staff Writer

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.”

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