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Microsoft Promises New Approach With Windows Phone 7

Microsoft further explained its mobile strategy in a Webcast today aimed at investors.

The talk by Andrew Lees, Microsoft's senior vice president for mobile communication business, largely recapped Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 (WP7) announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. At that event, Microsoft talked about executing "hard reset" on its mobile offerings.

Lees said in the conference call that WP7 is the first product resulting from a top-down shakeup in the way Microsoft will deliver its future mobile offerings. The new strategy involves setting standard hardware controls for OEMs, providing a new set of tools for ISVs and delivering a more standardized platform for mobile operators to add their own value to Windows phones.

"In the past, we've had a very closed, vertical environment in the smart phone industry where sometimes applications competed with the operating systems, and the hardware did not support certain functionality," Lees explained. "We've integrated the user experience in Windows Phone 7 and developed not just a product, but a whole new way to work together within the ecosystem."

Lees began the Webcast with a review of the new features and functionality in WP7, including the Zune-like "smart design" UI comprising "hubs" for music, photos, video, people and Office applications. Hubs, he explained, are a new way to browse the phone that results in a "delightful user experience."

WP7 will have a new operating system (vs. the current Windows Mobile 6.x OS line) and a new development platform, both of which will be detailed further at Microsoft's MIX 10 Web developer event in mid-March. Lees said that WP7 will also sport a new Web browser with enhanced elements for readability, search, mapping and using multiple tabs.

"We anticipate a very positive and a new round of evangelism at MIX," Lees said. "We are very confident that we have the right pieces in place."

An audio recording of Lees' talk can be accessed at Microsoft's investor relations Web site here.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.

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