Windows Phone 7 – Getting Connected

Windows Phone 7 – Getting Connected

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Sr. VP of our Mobile Communications Business, Andy Lees is in Washington, DC today showing thousands of Microsoft partners a line of consumer products and services that are truly connected with one another. He’s also showing off our own Windows Phone 7 and sharing a few updates on features and capabilities.

When we talk about connected entertainment, we’re talking about the ability to enjoy great experiences on whatever device or machine you’re using throughout the day, without needing an entirely different set of applications or credentials. For example, this holiday connected entertainment from Microsoft will span Windows 7 PCs, the Xbox 360 with Kinect and Windows Phone 7, coupled with services such as Xbox Live for games, Zune for music and video, Windows Live for email, calendars, pictures and services, and, of course, our decision engine: Bing.

My favorite product that features many of Microsoft’s new consumer technologies, for obvious reasons, is Windows Phone 7. It integrates experiences by consolidating common tasks and services around shared hubs that put the focus on what you want to do rather than putting the onus on you to move in and out of various apps. All the stuff you’d expect is right where you expect it – and that goes for content and services that live outside the phone.

So what does this look like in practice? Take search, or better yet, decision making. Bing comes built in, so just about wherever you go on your Windows Phone 7, search is only a button away. The Music + Videos hub draw upon the beautiful Zune software. Windows Phone 7 will connect with Zune software on the PC through Wi-Fi to access and manage music, video, high-resolution photos and other large file content. Similarly, the Games hub features Xbox Live and gamer content and a place for you to invite friends for a friendly – or not so friendly, depending on your preference – game. Windows Live integration is right where you’d expect it, in places like the People and Pictures hubs. When it’s time for some work, the Office hub brings together the powerful Office suite we all know and love: OneNote, Word, PowerPoint, and even SharePoint server integration. And, you can take advantage of the phone’s integration with Web based email and calendaring from Windows Live, Gmail and others, plus hosted Exchange accounts.

The Web is a great companion to just about any computing experience these days and today we’re talking a little more about some of the new services for Windows Phone 7 that tie the phone in your pocket up to the cloud. Through a push notification service that we’ve also extended to third party app developers, apps will be able to deliver real time updates. This way you know you’re getting the latest info at a glance, either as banner-style alerts or straight to the personalized live tiles on your phone’s Start screen. A feature we’re discussing for the first time today is the new Windows Phone Live companion site that gives people a central place to see pictures they’ve published, view their Windows Live calendar and contacts, exchange OneNote files and access other information shared between the phone and the Web. The site will offer25GB of SkyDrive and host the Find My Phone service, which allows people to find and manage a missing phone with map, ring, lock and erase capabilities right from your PC – and all for free.

Availability is becoming a hot topic as we get closer to the holiday timeframe we’ve committed to for delivering Windows Phone 7. We remain on track for that goal but also believe that launching Windows Phone 7 really is just one more big step along a new path – part of a course we’ve charted during a time when Smartphone sales are expected to double in the next four years alone according to some. This is a fresh start for Microsoft’s mobile efforts; one in which we put the end user experiences at the center of every decision we make, from architecting a new design and integrated on-phone experiences, to taking more accountability for the hardware and application development platform. We’ve implemented a more measured and structured philosophy to bringing phones to market so that customers have a great experience with the scenarios that matter most to them, thereby enabling us to establish a foundation for growth over the long term.

So what does this mean? We are working closely with our partners to determine exactly where and how Windows Phone 7 will be available regionally this holiday season and beyond. I’m happy to say that Windows Phone 7 will be well represented in countries around the world this holiday. During initial availability, Windows Phone 7 will support 5 languages; English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. The Windows Phone Marketplace will support the buying and selling of applications in 17 countries; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and United States.

The bottom line is that we believe it’s not enough to have exciting games, intuitive email, rich music, extensive social networking tools or even beautiful hardware to house it all. The magic comes when all of these things work together to bring the people and things you care about closer, while smoothing out your everyday tasks so that your day is a little bit easier. That’s what you’ll see from Microsoft this holiday; connected entertainment that’s bigger than any single screen.

24 Comments
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  • Can someone provide information why are developers from countries outside the 17 supported markets non-eligible to purchase an AppHub yearly subscription and develop (or port) their applications to Windows Phone Marketplace?

    Can someone provide information of the Windows Phone Marketplace fall-back scenario for phones in non-supported 17 markets?

    Can a customer on such "non-supported" market

    a) download free application (let's say from a market in one of the 5 supported languages / 17 countries)?

    b) buy an application (let's say from a market in one of the 5 supported languages / 17 countries)?

    Best regards,

    Erik

  • I just have a quick question: I currently have an iphone but want to switch to the new Windows 7 mobile phone coming out soon. However, I will only make the switch if I could transfer and play all my songs on my iphone to the windows phone. Most of my songs were purchased using itunes. Will the zune player on the windows 7 phone be able to hold and play all of my songs?? if not, then is there some way?

    Thanks!

  • I fully understand that you cannot possibly translate the system into all world's languages at once. English is fine for starters.

    But opening Marketplace fot 17 countries only is just another punch in the face of globalization and your customers overseas.

    Btw. if I buy the phone in the first wave, will I be able to change the language later after it is created? Thank you.

  • Sionic
    1 Posts

    @Parrotlover77, you are so wrong... Hubs clean up the mess... It was the whole point of them. To make all the hubs you need (not many and nowhere near the size of 10 pages of apps), which is people you stay in touch with like your wife/girlfriend, your contacts, your xbox live account, your zune account, etc. Everything builds into those hubs or makes a hub that other apps can all link to. It's a cleaner look than any other OS user interface on the market.

  • "This is a very good apportunity for .Net developpers to get ahead of this wave. And trus me, It will be a BIG wave."

    Yes, it is a brave new world of 99 cent applications that make farting noises.  There may be some revenue to be made by some people with novelty apps for mobile phones, but it's a passing fad. Eventually all these sorts of apps will have free alternatives.  This is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

    Make something useful and innovative.  Please don't fill Marketplace with the average iPhone app.

  • "It integrates experiences by consolidating common tasks and services around shared hubs that put the focus on what you want to do rather than putting the onus on you to move in and out of various apps."

    That's just marketing-speak.  There's no functional different between opening the "Zune Hub" and opening a "Zune App."  The same is true for all the other hubs.

    After slow and steady improvements in WM 6.5 series, it's sad to see MS make an iPhone clone and then act like they just invented the wheel.

  • Quikboy
    30 Posts

    About Windows Phone Live: I know it's too early to say, but will this really be a separate site? I'm aware since Wave 4, there is now a Windows Live Device site that manages your account on other devices, like a phone. So will Windows Live Phone have any connection to Windows Live Devices at all or will it be completely separate? If so, why? Wouldn't it make sense to put it under Windows Live Devices and avoid redundancy? It's at http://devices.live.com/

    I'm asking as a loyal Windows Live user ever since it started.

    I just wanted to add, like several other people that have commented, I think if Microsoft could squeeze in some more support for even more countries by the time it launches, you'll definitely satisfy more fans that really want Windows Phone 7. If not, they might get resentful and by the time you do distrubute to them, they might have moved onto a different smartphone platform and want to avoid WP7.

  • You need a unified marketplace policy. E.g. there's Windows Mobile Marketplace now in Greece but not Xbox Live Marketplace. Also you don't speak above about Greece and WP7 although MS has been promoting Windows Mobile Marketplace to developers in Greece recently (why would they build for the older Windows Phone?)

  • Are the news about Greece not being in the initial release countries list accurate? Also, how hard do you think is to have a virtual keyboard layout for Greek input if you already support Unicode internally and have font that can show Greek chars?

  • PawelK
    1 Posts

    The registration form at developer.windowsphone.com/Signup-Create-Account.aspx currently allows you to select Poland from the list of countries and register as a WP7 developer. Poland is not among 17 countires you listed. How should I understand that? Does it mean that the developer account I can now create will be disabled? Or will it allow me to publish WP7 apps anyway? Note: the "WINDOWS® PHONE MARKETPLACE APPLICATION PROVIDER AGREEMENT" that one needs to accept when creating a new account, currently also lists Poland in the Exhibit B.

  • Ken
    6 Posts

    I noticed you're rolling out the phone to Hong Kong and Singapore.  Will there be an option to change the language to Chinese (Simplified or Traditional)?

  • One of the really nice features of the  (now aborted?) KIN was the online site which stored all your pictures etc and displayed them in what looked like a timeline - KIN Studio IIRC (the KIN site is blocked where I am). I liked this and it would be really good if all Windows 7 Phones supported this

  • This is a very good apportunity for .Net developpers to get ahead of this wave. And trus me, It will be a BIG wave. Just thing all of the Iphone app you can recreate for this new platform in a fraction of time it take's on the Iphone platform. BTW DevTeach is the first organisation to provide a Bootcamp on Windows Phone 7 in Canada. Do not miss this chance.

  • i think what people want, is simultaneous distribution in every global market this Fall.  Can you do it?

  • The list of the supported countries seems as a dissapointment, to be honest. But some clarifications is needed:

    1. I understand that only customers from these countries will be able to buy applications.

    But:

    2. Does this mean that the WP7 phones will be available in these countries only by the launch date?

    3. Does this mean that developers from other countries won't be able to sell their applications (to the people of these 17 countries) by the launch date?

  • By the comments looks like Microsoft choosed the countries where it has less fans to release the phone

  • Spindel
    5 Posts

    You forgot the Nordic countries; Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway! :(

  • As usual, lack of Arabic input support and marketplace support for Middle Eastern countries. And here I was holding back from upgrading my iPhone 3G to a an iPhone 4 hoping to get a Windows 7 Phone in the fall instead *sigh*.

  • I can't express how disappointed I am looking at the list of supported languages and markets...

    Does "Supported languages" mean "Display languages" or are input language options (i.e. keyboard support) also limited by these five?

  • Greece not included?!  WTF? I know at least four Greek companies whose products dominate the wm marketplace

  • Where's Brazil? Where's Portuguese?

  • naraby
    1 Posts

    I am very sad to hear that no Arabic support nor MarketPlace support for Arabic Countries...

  • FINALLY!!! another pass to FULL LIVE SIMPLE SYNC INTEGRATION!!!

    merge for desktop clients sync,mesh,folders, bookmarks etc.

    merge for mobile myphone,mesh,live, and sync

    use only these live services for sync: skydrive, bookmarks, hotmail (with sms), contacts without myphone and other servicies

  • Xylias
    1 Posts

    Man, Microsoft. You chose all big European countries BESIDES The Netherlands? Come on... If Belgium deserves a WP7 phone at launch, we do too.