At the Mobile World Congress that opened in Barcelona, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer unveiled the features that the Windows Phone 7 will offer.
The Windows phone 7 operating system for mobile phones, to be manufactured to specifications laid down by the Software giant Microsoft, will be available by the end of this year, as a whole new platform that incorporates social networking, music, video, photos and games to provide a rich, personalised user experience.
The phones will support the capacitative touch interface now popular with users, and revolve around the concept of ‘hubs’ on-screen for people, pictures, office and mail applications, music and video.
Making the hubs the core of the navigation system, with dedicated keys for start, search and back — the most frequently used functions — and providing the ability to display configurable individual ‘tiles’ on the display screen for the people and applications that matter most to the individual user will differentiate, in Microsoft’s view, the Windows Phone 7 from the personal computer, and other phones.
Thus, a user can feature tiles for individuals, which would show connected activity for them on Facebook, Windows Live and so on. Full-featured synchronisation and integration capabilities with other Microsoft products such as Office, Outlook, the music player Zune and the gaming platform X-Box Live has been built into the new system.
It is tightly knit with services such as Bing, the search engine for which the company is strengthening its database and map utility.
The mobile browser for the phone is built on the desktop Internet Explorer code, aimed at making for a good web browsing experience with the vast majority of existing websites.
A major area that Microsoft is focusing on is active collaboration with hardware manufacturers, to bring about consistency of performance. It has laid down minimum standards for the phones.