Today at Mobile World Congress we are not simply announcing the existence of Windows Phone 7 Series – we are proud to show you our design results after more than a year of talking to real people, testing out various designs and thinking deeply about how to bring together the web, your data, and applications. For the first time ever, we are bringing together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience to phones. We won’t make you wait any longer. Go ahead and check out this video of our new Windows Phone running on real hardware.
Just about a year ago we took a hard look at the state of the smartphone industry – particularly at design. Our view is that the predominant user interface design – screens of icons to manage and navigate – has become a little outdated. It’s a UI paradigm that was created for the PC, where it’s EASY to have lots of separate apps which you navigate between, spend time with, and operate with a large screen and mouse. We said to ourselves “a phone is not a PC… it’s got a small screen, no mouse, and you want to use it not just for long periods but in short bursts—it should work great in the tiniest of moments.” We wanted to solve for “glanceability” – so you could get data and information without constantly going in and out of applications. We knew that we would need to innovate further to deliver something in which each of us, and each of our customers can take delight. So here it is.
The design you see here, in our mind, is the next logical step in the evolution of applications and it creates a more integrated experience that blends applications with each other and with the operating system. This allows applications and the operating system to share information with the user in a natural and seamless fashion. This intelligent integration blends content, applications, and services together to create a more natural experience for the user.
Our fresh approach to phone software is distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that surface the content you care about. The Windows Phone 7 Series design represents a whole set of elements that fit together, from layout, to motion, to fonts, and even hardware integration. It’s a system that’s integrated into every aspect of the phone. It allows for easy reading, simple navigation, and natural gestures. These integrated experiences are called hubs. The following hubs bring together the value of applications, the Web, and the activities of people you care about in a single, simple UI that’s fast and easy to access on a small phone screen.
People. This hub delivers an engaging social experience by bringing together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.
Pictures. This hub makes it easy to share pictures and video to a social network in one step. Windows Phone 7 Series also brings together a user’s photos by integrating with the Web and PC, making the phone the ideal place to view a person’s entire picture and video collection.
Games. This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, Achievements and gamer profile. With more than 23 million active members around the world, Xbox LIVE unlocks a world of friends, games and entertainment on Xbox 360, and now also on Windows Phone 7 Series.
Music + Video. This hub creates an incredible media experience that brings the best of Zune, including content from a user’s PC, online music services and even a built-in FM radio into one simple place that is all about music and video. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on your PC and share their media recommendations with like-minded music lovers. The playback experience is rich and easy to navigate, and immerses the listener in the content.
Marketplace. This hub allows the user to easily discover and load the phone with certified applications and games.
Office. This hub brings the familiar experience of the world’s leading productivity software to the Windows phone. With access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents. With the additional power of Outlook Mobile, users stay productive and up to date while on the go.
To find out even more and stay in the know, be sure to register at http://www.windowsphone7series.com. Partners have already started building Windows Phone 7 Series phones, and you will be able to purchase one in stores by holiday 2010. Oh yes, and there will be apps! We’ve written up a note about the developer opportunity in this companion article.
You can read the full Windows Phone 7 Series press release here.