Microsoft shows off new mobile OS
MWC: Windows Phone 7 Series gets launch at Mobile World Congress
Microsoft has launched its latest mobile phone operating system at this year's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.
Windows Phone 7 Series is intended to be a new approach to mobile phone operating systems, according to Microsoft, with a new holistic design, including new interface, new core applications and improved ecosystem for OEMs, developers and operators.
The new interface will include a Start screen which includes real-time content ‘tiles', rather than static icons, so users can see at a glance the status of applications or contacts.
The OS will also include six core content hubs: People, for social networking tools; Pictures for managing and sharing photos; Games, including integration with Microsoft's Xbox Live service; Music & Video, which includes integration with Microsoft Zune; Marketplace to download applications and Office to access Microsoft productivity tools including Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft said at the launch: "Today, I'm proud to introduce Windows Phone 7 Series, the next generation of Windows Phones. 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."
The new OS will also include stricter rules on what manufacturers building Windows Phone 7 Series devices can and can't do, such as a requirement to include a hardware button to launch Microsoft's Bing search function, or prohibiting them from creating their own ‘skins' to go over the Microsoft interface.
The first Windows Phone 7 Series devices are expected by the end of the year.