Windows Phone 7 Series (preview)
Windows Phone 7 adds new social networking and productivity features all within a clean and touch-friendly interface.
- Quick Launch screen, Zune HD features
- Vendors can't add customised layers over the default Windows UI
Microsoft hinted that the Zune and Windows Mobile teams were working closely and you can definitely see this relationship in Series 7.
Microsoft took the wraps off of Windows Phone 7 Series (the official name for Windows Mobile 7) here Monday at Mobile World Congress. Slated to launch on handsets by holiday season 2010, Windows 7 is a complete overhaul from previous versions of the OS.
Slick, touch-friendly user interface
If you're familiar with the Zune HD's user interface, you'll feel right at home with Windows 7. Microsoft hinted that the Zune and Windows Mobile teams were working closely and you can definitely see this relationship in Series 7. The menus and interface have the same fluid animations and clean typeface as the Zune HD's.
The Quick Launch screen is a far-cry from the old Windows Mobile start screen. Large, colourful tiles serve as shortcuts to your most-used or favourite apps or Web sites. You can also place live tiles on the screen with links to your Facebook profile or friends.
These tiles are live, meaning if the content of the app or site is updated, the tile will update on your screen. So if you have a link to a friend's Facebook profile on your Quick Launch screen, that tile will update when they change their picture. It is a bit creepy if you don't know them very well, but cool nonetheless.
With a tap and drag, you can easily move them around in any order you like or press a broken heart icon to remove them from the screen. Swiping right takes you to a list of all of your apps. If you want to move one of your apps to your Quick Launch display, you simply press down on the app and select "add to quick launch." When you're in an app, you'll see a row of other menu options at the top of the display. Like the Zune, you can "pan" through these menu items with a flick of your finger. If you want to go back to the previous menu, you simply hit the arrow key at the top of the interface.
Social and Productivity Hubs
The People Hub aggregates you friends from all of your social networks in three screens: Recent, All, What's New. Recent will show you friends who have just updated their profiles or statuses while All will show you all of your friends. What's new quickly aggregates status updates all into a single feed. You can also quickly share your own status update.
The Pictures Hub lets you see all of the pictures on your hub, your most recent pictures and what's new with all of your friends. The phone will pick the latest pictures you uploaded or have taken with your phone. And, like the People Hub, What's New in pictures shows your friend's most recent picture uploads. The Pictures Hub allows you to easily share your own photos with your social networks.
The Office Hub lets you easily sync your documents between your phone and your PC. Office Hub comes with OneNote, for notetaking, Documents and Sharepoint for presentation collaboration. Users will also have access to an Outlook Mail application which gives similar features, like flagging important e-mails, that you'd find on the desktop version.
Zune Player and Xbox Live Comes to Windows Phones
Despite the rumours leading up to the conference, there was no "Zune Phone" announcement, but all Windows 7 phones will ship with the same music and video features as the Zune HD. Users will also be able to manage their music with the Zune PC software. Does this mean the death of the standalone Zune HD player?
If you're an Xbox owner and want to keep tabs on your friends' achievements, Windows 7 phones will come with a mobile version of Xbox Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer's avatar, Achievements and gamer profile. Users will also be able to purchase games and apps easily from the Windows Marketplace as well.
Windows 7 phones will also ship with Bing Maps, which has some unique features that are on par with Google Maps. Bing Maps dynamically update with street-view photos, 3D graphics and directions. It also shows you real-time traffic updates and reviews of local businesses via Yelp.
Microsoft Holds More Control Over Hardware Partners
According to Microsoft, hardware partners will not be able to replace the Windows 7 UI. So if you're a fan of HTC's TouchFLO user interface, which runs over older versions of HTC Windows Mobile phones, you're out of luck. It is a bit surprising that Microsoft has locked in the Windows 7 interface because one draw of the platform was the number of different flavours you could get it in.
Microsoft is also taking further control over the hardware side. All Windows Series 7 phones will ship with three hardware buttons: Home, Search, and Back. They'll also all be capacitive touch-enabled with multitouch.
Microsoft's hardware partners include Dell, HTC, Garmin ASUS, LG, Samsung, SE, Toshiba, HP and Qualcomm. NVIDIA, which provided the Tegra chip in the Zune HD hardware, is noticeably absent. Microsoft had no comment.
Microsoft plans to have Windows phones in the market by the end of this year.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- LastPass is scrambling to fix another serious vulnerability
- New Google Home partnerships expand the smart speaker’s footprint in the smart home
- If Google Assistant isn't your thing, you can now talk to Cortana on the lock screen
- Razer’s updated Blade Pro is the first ever THX-certified laptop
- 10 powerful, obscure Windows keyboard shortcuts you should know
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - SalesforceVIC
- TPLead TesterNSW
- FTJava DeveloperWA
- CCBusiness Analyst- Data GovernanceNSW
- CCEnterprise/Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst (BI / Analytics)NSW
- CCWintel Systems EngineerQLD
- CCA/V OfficerNSW
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!SA
- FTApplication Team Lead - ERP & Microsoft TechnologiesNSW
- FTSales/Account Manager - Education SectorNSW
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- CCDevOps Developer - TelcoVIC
- FTDevelopment Team LeadQLD
- CCTest Manager OfficeACT
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- CCProject Manager - Security DomainVIC
- FTCisco Network Engineer (FIFO)WA
- FTArcFM/Gis Lead DeveloperNSW
- CCCloud Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- FTHelpdesk Support - Level 2VIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - HealthQLD
- FTRuby on Rails DeveloperQLD
- CCVMWare Automation ArchitectACT