New Windows Phone 7: Phone for Fun

With a host of fun features, including music and games, integrated into the new devices, Microsoft – with its partners – has introduced nine new Windows Phone 7 handsets.

The new phones, according to Microsoft, are distinguished by their design and integrated experiences built from Microsoft’s portfolio such as Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Office Mobile, Zune, Windows Live, Bing and more.

For example, the customizable Start screen with Live Tiles is a personal experience, showing people their own content. The Live Tiles come to life with real-time updates from the Web such as news, appointments or the status of friends.

New Live Tiles can be easily created from whatever content a consumer wants, such as applications, websites and music.

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Windows Phone 7, according to Microsoft, marks a new era in mobile gaming as the first phone to put the power of Xbox LIVE into the palm of people’s hands with a lineup of game titles from leading publishers.

In addition to the titles already announced earlier this year, Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) has announced the first wave of EA games coming to Windows Phone 7 this fall.

As part of Microsoft’s managed portfolio of Xbox LIVE titles, all EA games for Windows Phone 7 will be Xbox LIVE-enabled.

EA will deliver a portfolio of titles including “Need for Speed Undercover,” “Tetris” and “The Sims 3.”

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“We have a beautiful lineup in this first wave of Windows Phone 7 handsets,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft.

“Microsoft and its partners are delivering a different kind of mobile phone and experience — one that makes everyday tasks faster by getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information in a ‘glance and go’ format.”

Windows Phone 7 is also claimed to be the first to offer the Zune music experience on a phone: People can play their music collection, synced wirelessly from their PC, or stream or download new tunes from Windows Marketplace. An optional Zune Pass subscription is available.

Search is offered with a dedicated button to help people find what they need, whether in contacts, in Marketplace, in e-mail or on the Web. From the Start screen, the Search button delivers Bing for mobile, delivering Web results, local information, maps, directions and more.

The Windows Live solution helps people manage pictures, Windows Live calendar, Office OneNote Mobile and more.

And the free Find My Phone service new on Windows Live can remotely ring, lock, erase and show the location of your phone on a map.

Microsoft and its partners have worked together to produce Windows Phone 7. It will come in a variety of sleek form factors from device-makers such as Dell, HTC Corp., LG and Samsung, and from mobile operators including America Movil, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Movistar, O2, Orange, SFR, SingTel, Telstra, TELUS, T-Mobile USA and Vodafone.

All Windows Phone 7 phones will include the Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm.

A broad selection of phones will begin shipping in holiday 2010 with more arriving in 2011, including phones from Sprint and Verizon Wireless. In addition, select models will be available at Microsoft Store locations and from Amazon.

Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 7 on Monday, Oct. 11.

The new phones will be available this holiday season from leading mobile operators in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Over 60 mobile operators in about 30 countries worldwide are expected to offer Windows Phones to the consumers.

Photo courtesy: Microsoft

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Rakesh Raman