BARCELONA, Spain--As expected, Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 during its news conference at Mobile World Congress 2010 on Monday. The event is actually happening right now as this story posts, but we received a prebriefing of today's news and wanted to share a quick list of major points with you.Microsoft will have four major announcements at MWC: The introduction of the Windows Phone 7 series. The series refers to a set of phones that will run on the new operating system, and not various editions of the OS. From here on out, the Windows Mobile name is considered … Read more
While CEO Steve Ballmer is the one who will get top billing at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it is Microsoft veteran Andy Lees who is largely responsible for shepherding the long-delayed software project to completion.
Ballmer and Lees, who came from Microsoft's server unit in March 2008, will be showing the fruits of that work--a ground-up redesign of the phone operating system into something that looks a lot more like the Zune HD than it does any prior version of Windows Mobile.
While Microsoft won't be building the phones itself, it is being pretty strict about both the components that must be included (think FM radio and capacitive touch screen) as well as also prohibiting phone makers from putting their own skin over the user interface, something that many had taken to doing to hide Windows Mobile in recent generations.
In an interview just before he headed to Barcelona, Lees talked about Microsoft's different approach with the new software, the role of Zune and Xbox in the product, as well as why Microsoft still believes it can catch up to leaders like Apple, Google and Research In Motion.
There is also a separate Microsoft-designed phone effort, code-named Pink, that is due out this year, ahead of the first crop of third-party Windows Phone 7 Series devices, although Lees wouldn't talk about those.
Here's an edited transcript of our conversation:
Q: So essentially what is Windows Mobile 7, or whatever it's being called? Andy Lees: Windows Phone 7 Series. As you may remember, we about 18 months ago decided that we're going to re-evaluate our mobile strategy, and what we're doing in the mobile space. That was based on the inflection point that was happening in a number of ways, both in terms of convergence of different industries colliding together, and also the technologies of what is becoming possible, of course, driven by Moore's Law in the hardware, connectivity, and new-user paradigms, people using their phones in concert with the Web, and their PCs, and TVs, and things. And so that really created the impetus to go through it. … Read more
The iPhone and iPod Touch keyboard is very versatile, and many of its keys offer access to lists of special symbols or more, while tapping and holding one of the following keys for at least one second:.com when entering Web addresses in Mobile Safari to bring up options for .net, .edu and .org. . (period) when entering e-mail addresses in Mobile Mail to bring up the options for .net, .edu, .org and .com. " (double) or ' (single) quotes in the number and symbol keyboard to access alternative quotation characters. $ in the number and symbol keyboard to display alternative currency symbols. … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Just a friendly little reminder that Microsoft will be hosting a news conference at 6 a.m., PT/9 a.m. ET from Mobile World Congress 2010 where the company is expected to finally unveil Windows Phone 7. You can watch a live Webcast of the event here, and of course, we'll follow up with analysis, slide shows, and video so be sure to check back soon.
In an effort to spread its Flash technology as widely as possible, Adobe Systems has joined the LiMo Foundation, a group devoted to putting Linux on mobile phones.
Adobe's Flash Player is ubiquitous on computers, but the company's Flash Lite effort hadn't met with much success extending the programming foundation to mobile phones. With a new generation of relatively powerful smartphones on the market, Adobe is trying again with a full-featured but lightweight version of the computer software, Flash Player 10.1, due in the first half of 2010.
Flash is missing from the highest-profile smartphone, Apple'… Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--On Monday, Motorola introduced its eighth Google Android device, the Motorola Cliq XT/Quench, at Mobile World Congress 2010. In other parts of the world, the device will go by the name of Quench but in the States, it will be called the Cliq XT and will launch with T-Mobile in March.
As with the original Motorola Cliq, the Cliq XT will use Motoblur software and has a 3.1-inch, 320x480 touch screen with pinch-and-zoom capabilities. It also supports Swype technology, which allows you to enter text my dragging your fingers across the keyboard, rather than pecking at individual … Read more
Complete with dancers and aerial ballet (not to mention drowning us in every wave metaphor one could ever think of), the event gave us a chance to check out the Samsung's first Bada phone. Bada, which means ocean in Korean and is meant to represent the "limitless variety" of the platform, is the company's own mobile operating system that is designed to bring the smartphone experience … Read more
Sony Ericsson typically treats Mobile World Congress (MWC) as one of its biggest events of the year, and the 2010 show in Barcelona is no exception. The manufacturer unveiled three new handsets the night before MWC began at a packed nightclub on the Mediterranean Sea.
The Vivaz Pro is a cousin of the multimedia-centric Vivaz, which made its debut last month. On the outside it looks about the same as its predecessor, but it adds a full keyboard. Sony Ericsson is positioning the Symbian (Series 60, 5th edition) smartphone for business users, which perhaps explains the lower resolution camera (5.1-megapixels vs. 8.1-megapixels on the Vivaz).
Otherwise, the feature set is about the same. You'll find a media player, Bluetooth, a personal organizer, assisted-GPS, PC syncing, integrated social-media apps, a personal organizer, messaging and e-mail, Wi-Fi, USB mass storage, a 710MHz processor, and handwriting recognition. And we're very glad to hear that Sony Ericsson ditched its irritating proprietary connections and memory cards in favor of a 3.5mm headset jack, a Micro-USB port, and a microSD card slot.
The Xperia X10 Mini is about what it sounds like. Though the original Xperia X10 is a sight to behold, its lovely 4-inch display does make the handset a bit bulky (4.68 inches long by 2.48 inches wide by 0.5 inches deep). The Xperia X10 Mini, however, features a 2.5-inch display and measures 3.2 inches long by 1.9 inches wide by 0.62 inches deep.
From the signs looming over Mobile World Congress we knew that Samsung was going to "unpack" a new phone in Barcelona. And the night before the show began the company did just that with the Samsung Wave, the first handset to run on Sammy's new Bada operating system.
Also called the S8500, the Wave's slim (4.64 inches long by 2.2 inches wide by 0.42 inch deep) candy bar design resembles previous Samsung touch-screen handsets like the Omnia II. The 3.3-inch AMOLED (800x480 pixels) display supports TouchWiz 3.0, which features quick access to apps, integration with social-networking services, and user customization of the home screen. You'll also find Social Hub, which promises combined delivery of e-mail, text messages, and calendar events.
The bigger story, however, is inside. As mentioned, the Wave is the debut device for Bada. Though Samsung rolled out the new OS in November, this is our first chance to check it out and see what it offers. We know that the open OS will have access to Samsung's new application store, but we can't say yet how Bada will compare with Google Android and what it will do for Samsung. Once we get the chance to play with the Wave and Bada, we'll tell you more.… Read more
Boy Genius Report received a tip and some revealing documents that indicate the Motorola Devour might be available some time between February 25 and March 15 (the February date is for indirect channel distribution, while the March date is the official full launch date).
The Devour, you might recall, would be Verizon's first Motorola Android phone with MotoBlur, the unique user interface that pushes out all your social network updates to you right on the home screen. It's decidedly Sidekick-like with the slide-out QWERTY keyboard, plus it has a 3.1-inch HVGA capacitive touch screen, and GPS navigation. … Read more