Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s three-years-late response to Apple’s iOS, is officially being released in Europe today, and even though America won’t get the first WP7 handsets until November, the European release means that review embargoes are over and the first blushes are starting to trickle in.
The good news? Most reviewers agree Windows Phone 7 is a significant improvement over its predecessor, and even a pretty smart mobile operating system… but it’s still about a year behind iOS.
Microsoft’s mobile devices have never been able to easily sync with Macs, and never through first-party tools, but with Windows Phone 7, Microsoft aims to change all that with a native OS X application that will allow for syncing content between your Mac and Windows Phone 7 handset.
The tool isn’t out now, but Microsoft is promising the application later this year, presumably before the holiday shopping season.
Microsoft can’t be happy about having to do this, but what choice do they have? iOS has a three year lead on Windows Phone 7, and Microsoft wants people to give up their iPhones and iPads for their new operating system… which means appealing directly to Mac owners. They want people to switch, and the kind of people who are going to need good reason to switch are, by very definition, not loyal to the Windows brand.
At a press conference today, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Balmer officially unveiled its new Windows Phone 7 operating system for mobile devices, along with nine smartphones by various manufacturers that will carry the software upon its release.
Together with Android devices, smartphones running Windows Phone 7 will be one of the biggest competitors to the iPhone 4 running iOS, so how do the new devices compare to Apple’s already massively popular iPhone?
It’s taken them over three years to respond to the revolutionary shift in the mobile operating system landscape posed by iOS, but Microsoft has finally done it and released a properly modern, properly app-laden and properly multi-touchable successor to the Windows Mobile series: Windows Phone 7. But what differentiates Windows Phone 7 from Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Mobile 6 and a host of even crappier mobile operating systems squirted out by Microsoft?
Quite a bit, actually, and it’s quite a bit better… but it’s still two years behind the curve of iOS.
Today marks the official debut of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s three-years-too-late response to the smartphone revolution headed by Apple with the release of the original iPhone. By most accounts, WIndows Phone 7’s software is far more advanced than its predecessor, Windows Mobile 6.5, and might even be pretty good… but it’s going to take more than a decent smartphone operating system these days to compete with iOS and Android: namely, a sizable, content-rich App Store with some showcase software for users to download out of the gate.
Early rumors tip the Windows Phone Marketplace to launch with a respectable 2,000 apps… but if news hitting the feeds this morning is anything to go by, those numbers might very well be inflated dishonestly. Microsoft has been prominently advertising several apps as being available on the Windows Phone Marketplace when it launches, including Rovio Mobile’s hit game, Angry Birds. The only problem? Rovio hasn’t even decided on doing a port yet.