A Windows Phone 7 Milestone

A Windows Phone 7 Milestone

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I’m very excited to share with this blog community, that our Windows Phone engineering team has hit a very meaningful milestone; one that we’re calling technical preview. We are certainly not done yet – but the craftsmen (and women) of our team have signed off that our software is now ready for the hands-on everyday use of a broad set of consumers around the world – and we’re looking forward to their feedback in the coming weeks, so that we can finish the best Windows Phone release ever together.

Before release of this milestone, the software has undergone extensive testing – in daily use by more than 1000 people at Microsoft who have been using WP7 as their only phone for the past several months, and the more than 10,000 devices in our test labs. We’ve been testing usability, battery life, network connectivity, and many other metrics for a long time. As a result of that work, I hope you will find the experience to be of surprisingly high quality.

Starting today, thousands of prototype phones from Asus, LG and Samsung are making their way into the hands of developers over the next few weeks. Combine that with the beta release of the Windows Phone developer tools, and I can’t wait to see how our developer partners take advantage of our new approach to smart design and integrated mobile experiences. I’m personally working on a flash card app for my daughter, and am consistently amazed by the ease with which Silverlight and Visual Studio make WP7 apps possible.

So we’re almost there – but there is much work left to do. Together, with our early adopter customers, developers, OEM, and mobile operator partners we are in the home stretch. We are on the path to do exactly what we set out to do – create a different take on mobile phone software, an experience we think many people will find fun and refreshing, with a quality bar that we’re proud of.

I look forward to celebrating the release of Windows Phone 7 with all of you,

Terry

CVP, Windows Phone Engineering

30 Comments
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  • I can only agree with that as well – make it more consistent and a percentage meter to the battery icon would be nice. The information doesn’t have to be present in the picture app though since it would just be annoying in such an application.

    Then I go right into the next statement, which is, "You and I are going to have a secret. We're going to secretly kiss and no one will know."

    And as I'm saying this, I'm leaning in... and you'll be doing the same when you do it. You're leaning in ever... so... slowly. At the same time, you're looking from her eyes down to her lips and back up to her eyes again. Tao of Badass taoofbadassdating.blogspot.com/.../pimp-playas-vs-good-guy-that-finish.html

    But maybe the most important thing they mention in their preview is the part regarding multitasking where they wrote this

  • Then I go right into the next statement, which is, "You and I are going to have a secret. We're going to secretly kiss and no one will know."

    And as I'm saying this, I'm leaning in... and you'll be doing the same when you do it. You're leaning in ever... so... slowly. At the same time, you're looking from her eyes down to her lips and back up to her eyes again. Tao of Badass www.thetaoofbadass-reviews.com

    This is called "Triangulating." Count to three looking at her eyes, then look down to her lips and count to two, look back up and count to three, look down and count to two... etc. Do that about three or four times as you're talking.

  • Run4fun
    1 Posts

    Microsoft's Cheap and Unethical practice

    Terry,

    From you blog it sounds like Microsoft has done a great job in bringing a new generation phone... MS is boasting..

    It can not impress even Microsoft's own employees .. forget about the rest..a shame on MS

    Microsoft is using all cheap tactics to create a hyped figure of pre-ordered units by forcing its employees to go with WM 7 .. ofcourse MS is more than 65K employees :)...

    The cheapest side of this is if an employee is not comfortable with the unethical policies formed by Microsoft he is threated of his job else go with WM7... great policies

    Better build great products...

  • Congratulations Windows Phone 7 Team!!!!

    Now, I must make a few comments because I am very excited and worried about Windows Phone 7.

    First of all, I think the new OS looks great, and it seems very snappy, which after using the sluggish Windows Mobile 6/6.5 for the past 3 years, is a huge relief. What I'm most worried about now is mindshare. Windows Phone 7 is getting back into the game with little to no mindshare, and I'm not sure Microsoft has the "cool factor" that it needs to get this off the ground. Especially with the phone lacking features such as copy/paste and the lockdown on 3rd party multitasking. I actually believe that 3rd party multitasking should be limited to apps that make sense to run in the background, like Pandora and Skype. I don't want stupid apps running in the background, killing my battery (I'm looking at you Android), just because they can. The two features that are really killing my lust for Windows Phone 7 is the lack of copy/paste and a contact filter. I don't want all my facebook "friends" to show up in my contacts list. That would be incredibly annoying.

    So........  You must get Copy/Paste and a contact filter in a soon as possible!!!! And you better make some really cool commercials that make the phone seem "cool" and important. Microsoft commercials have been some of the worst in the tech industry and I really hope the Windows Phone 7 commercials are better.

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    I think it's great you people hit a milestone, but you're naive if you don't realize just how much you've bastardized the existing Windows Mobile users' customers.  Saying you will support it means absolutely nothing.  No one will develop apps for that platform.  I just sent my phone back for an Android phone, because it was a dead end.  Couldn't hardly find anything, and Windows Mobile 6.x devices are/were notorious for being underpowered at the hardware (yet still rather expensive, just like low-end Blackberry Curves/Pearls).

    Also, AT&T going out talking about how they will be the premier carrier of Windows 7 devices does not help at all.  Everyone know who has AT&T is either locked in because of the iPhone or waiting for their contract to expire so they can get away from them.

  • -sg-
    1 Posts

    Well done on getting to this stage.  I abandoned my WM6 phone for an iPhone becuase of the huge UX advantage that the iPhone has over WM (gosh i hated WM network config!!).  

    Changing platforms is a big hurdle, and now that I'm finally up and running and comfortable with my iPhone, there will hopefully be equally huge advantages to entice me to once again go through all of the pain of switching platforms to Windows Phone 7....right?

  • a lot of you guys are wondering about flash, but adobe already announced they're making a flash program for windows mobile 7's internet explorer. and for copy and paste, Microsoft already announced that they will add that in a later update. they cut it out so they will be able to ship the phone by the holiday season. same thing for multitasking. also, updates will be coming from microsoft. this is the reason why no custom skins are allowed, because microsoft would then have to make a different version of each update for different skins.

  • Awesome! Can't wait to get this phone in my hands :)

  • Congratulations on this milestone for Windows Phone 7!

    The potential synergy between Windows Phone 7, Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 has me amped!

    The following are critical for me to become an enthusiast and self-appointed evangelist:  

    • Ability to return to any app without loss of position after completing an inbound call or alert.

    • Speech to Text, either native to Windows Phone 7 or via an app like Dragon Dictation.

    • Ability of OS to recognize last good location (GPS and/or Triangulation) and pass that information to any location-aware app.

    • Forward SMS, MMS and Voicemail Messages

    As long as I know Multitasking and Cut & Paste are on the roadmap for sooner than later then I am really excited!

    Not having spent extensive time with the new UI I cannot say with certainty that I will need the ability to create my own hubs but I am fairly certain I will want the ability to create my own hubs/folders too.

  • Do you have to hold the phone a certain way for it to work?  Does it come with a free bumper?

  • awm
    3 Posts

    This is good news. I have a really simple comment on functionality for you to consider for Windows Phone 7, based on my experience of using many WinMo devices - where can I sumbit for your consideration?

  • Can't wait.  I'm extremely excited for the big day.

  • I read on Wikipedia that "Microsoft will be enforcing content restrictions on Windows Phone 7 applications, by preventing users from sideloading applications as they previously had done with Windows Mobile. This results in all applications having to pass through the Windows Phone Marketplace where content restrictions apply."  

    Is this true?  The main reason I chose Windows Mobile over the iPhone is because of this very thing, and I know that I'm not the only one.  I just cannot use a phone wherein everything I do must be preapproved by someone else.  (It has nothing to do with pornography; I detest pornography.  But I also resent having to submit to an imaginary authority.)  

    I absolutely love Windows Mobile 6.5, but now there's no copy and paste, multitasking is limited, and now every piece of software has to be preapproved.  Historically, these are the very things that the iPhone has been most criticized for, and by those of us who were defending Windows Mobile!

    I have to voice my opinion, even though I don't know if it will be heard:  I cannot use Windows Phone 7 under these conditions.  I cannot use ANY phone under these conditions.  And I foresee that very few people will; what few followers Windows Mobile has right now are mostly using it for the things that you are now taking away.  The followers you're trying to attract would be more attracted to the iPhone.

    It's about the ability to do what I feel that I need to do.  It's about freedom.  That's why I won't use the iPhone.  And that's why I won't use Windows Phone 7.

    I am not trying to be harsh, and I am not trying to troll.  After hearing this news, I honestly felt that I needed to share what I thought about it.  This is a mistake.

  • Congrats. Think you should get there in the hands of all the Geek Squad agents since they have been using WinMo phones forever. And they make great testers.

  • Awesome, I am sure you have double checked the antennae, don't want to have to teach ppl how to hold the phone or distribute rubber bands to make it work ;) great work guys can't wait...

  • Congratulations! I'm very excited with Windows Phone 7 and can't wait to the release date!

  • jaxim
    57 Posts

    I also must say that the Zune software should work with Macs.

    This feature isn't really important to me since I don't use a Mac, but a lot of the tech trend setters do use a Mac. And if they can use a Windows Phone then we may see these trend setters start migrating (back) to a PC from a Mac. (As many switched to a Mac when they started using an iPod/iPhone)

  • Here here!

    I'm also looking forward to ditching my Iphone and grabbing one of these, still a while to wait though.

  • Morten
    1 Posts

    Windows Phone 7 seems to be the third real participant in this game if it delivers more than just the necessary and if you actually do a good advertising it to consumers and developers.

    However, I fail to see how developers other than game developers will make programs for WP7 when they are being so limited. You talk about integrating services, but how will a program like Spotify or Pandora be able to hook into your hub? You treat these programs as third-party programs and then they aren't integrated experiences through your hubs.

    Failing to know exactly how the final product will look and feel like, I urge you to listen to some of the points made by Joshua Topolsky in his Engadget preview. For once I agree with what he's complaining about.

    Last, but maybe the most important thing: don't have just 5 languages available on launch. iPhone was big in Norway before it even launched back here. Why? Because people wanted something unique and ordered it through mail. Apple has been very good with localized UIs both on OS X and iOS. You also have this experience and network needed, so make it happen!

    Make everyone a part of the integrated experience!

  • jaxim
    57 Posts

    Here are a few more questions that will help me decide on purchasing a Windows Phone or an Android phone...

    5) Will flash work on winPhone? If so, when?

    6) Will Adobe Air apps work on winPhone? If so, when?

    7) Will developers be able to sell their phone software anywhere and not have to go through an app store? (just like Android and Windows computers allow.)

  • Great news! Can't wait if I get one of those phones!

    Btw: Do we get any information (tracking number, congrats e-mail, etc.) IF we get a phone? Or is it delivered magically on our front door?

  • Martin
    6 Posts

    Well done team.

    Unfortunately I am yet another user which Microsoft doesn't seem to be listening to.

    We need cut & paste. This is the only thing holding me back from considering ditching my iPhone 3Gs when Windows Phone 7's come out.

    If you can tell us that this critical feature will be released in a near term future update then I will buy a Windows Phone 7.

    Many times I need to cut and paste something to the iPhone notes application and many times I am cutting and pasting information from attachments and emails to put into other emails or put on Twitter and or Facebook. It is such a simple but important piece of functionality and nobody can understand why it wouldn't be there in addition to any smart functionality built into the UI.

  • jaxim
    57 Posts

    p.s. I have a 3rd question. However it won't decide if I should buy an Android or WinPhone device.

    Will WinPhone phone manufacturers be required to have a Zune port so the device can connect/sync with the computer? I have a few Zunes and am interested to know if the Zune dock market may grow (there's maybe 2 good docks) since there will be more of a demand for such docks.

  • jaxim
    57 Posts

    congrats! I've been waiting to buy a new phone until October/November since I heard about Windows Phone 7. If this wasn't coming out I would have bought an Android by now.  But the decision of buying an Android phone or a WinPhone isn't over yet for me.

    I have 2 major questions I'd like answered before I can decide which Phone OS my next phone will have.

    1) When will WinPhone have "normal" Copy&Paste and multitasking? When it does have multitasking, will it be like Android (true multitasking) or like iPhone (limited fake multitasking)

    2) Will ALL WinPhone devices be updated with a firmware update every year (or every few months) like the Zune devices have been? Or will upgrades be issued by the carrier/phone manufacturer like Android, which seems annoying to wait for the latest upgrade and you're never sure when or IF the firmware update will be sent to your device. Or will there be NO firmware upgrades be issued?

  • jamiet
    45 Posts

    Terry,

    I note the following form Engadget's review:

    "we noted a problem right off the bat with calendar sync -- only our primary Google calendar was syncing, apparently a limitation which Microsoft says they're working on. "

    I'm one of the (few, I suspect) people for which this will be a big issue. I aggregate many calendars (>10, some public [e.g. my football team's fixture list], some private [e.g. my wife's calendar, TripIt]) and not being able to view them all on the phone would be a deal breaker for me, hence I really hope you manage to nail this.

    Thanks

    Jamie

  • Good news and I must say that Windows Phone 7 looks really promising and I believe that you will have great chances to succeed BUT.... there is always this annoying but!

    1. You need killer phones - HTC, Samsung and LG needs to deliver killer hardware, with excellent design and build quality.

    2. I checked out Engadget's latest preview and I liked what they mentioned and the videos shown. But copy & paste – please add that feature! More over they wrote this: “Weirdly, that same area up top is used to show your signal, battery, and WiFi status, but it only drops down if you touch or swipe the upper part of the screen. And in some apps (like pictures) it doesn't appear at all. We're not sure why Microsoft doesn't want to make that info consistent, but it seems like wasted effort to have to call it up manually. Oh, and guys, please add a percentage meter to that battery icon.”

    I can only agree with that as well – make it more consistent and a percentage meter to the battery icon would be nice. The information doesn’t have to be present in the picture app though since it would just be annoying in such an application.

    But maybe the most important thing they mention in their preview is the part regarding multitasking where they wrote this: “The latter is practically inexcusable in this day and age -- even Apple (which has been a complete laggard in this area) now supports basic multitasking. When we heard in our meeting with Microsoft that the phone wouldn't even support something as simple as Pandora background streaming, our minds were a little blown. It's doubly irritating given the fact that just like in iPhone 1.0, the first-party apps are free to background all they want (mail loads, the browser pulls down pages, music plays in the background, etc.), and so there isn't any technical reason why they couldn't extend some of this functionality to other applications. We're hoping that by some magical twist of fate these two items get addressed before launch... but we're not holding our breath.”

    Android can do it – and iPhone 4.0 can do it – and I believe you guys need to deliver an OS capable of this as well.

    Otherwise everything else looks really promising!

  • I have an iPhone 3G S and I'm gonna be upgrading to a Windows 7 Mobile phone soon (:

  • dovella
    303 Posts

    Congrat!!!!!! Go Team GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hi Terry,

    great news.

    I've seen the beta and have few comments about it. Do you have your place at Microsoft Connect or other for placing some issues?

  • This is good to hear. Looking forward to new innovative technology, and i can't wait to ditch my Iphone 3G for a new Windows Phone 7 Device