Microsoft launches Windows Phone 7 [the competition]

Windows Phone 7 Launch Ballmer

Microsoft has launched Windows Phone 7, a bold re-imagining of their mobile platform with innovative "Metro" UI and more manufacturer and carrier partners than you can shake an analyst at.

Mal, Phil, and Dieter are knocking the coverage out of the park over at our brand-new sibling site, WPCentral, so check out all the phones, all the features, and all the fun and then come on back here and let us know what you think. Is this the next Android-level competitor for the iPhone, or like Zune HD, will it be wonderful technology simply too late to market?

For my part, I still say they should have called it XPhone and debuted an exclusive Halo Edition to put on the shelf across from iPhone 4 at launch...


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Microsoft launches Windows Phone 7 [the competition]


Wow! The competition is heating up i think. Do you guys think Windows can survive in this hot competetive market, let's see. May be die-hard xbox fans may jump and buy one. I would love to see a complete review of the Windows Mobile 7.

No this is Smartphone Experts Boots. TiPB needs to talk about the smartphone/gadget market that is directly competing with Apple. Not to mention, highlight the work being put in at its sister sites.

Sure wish Apple would toss out a little nugget today, like maybe the mythical white iPhone 4. A release date, maybe a little explanation, something. Anything. My Best Buy gift cards (which pays for the thing) are burning a hole in my pocketbook.

I like the relatively gradient-free UI design of WP7. If I had one complaint about Apple's aesthetics it'd be that they overuse gradients.

"TiPb, The #1 iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch blog!" Nowhere does it say smartphones or Windows 7 phone.

@Boots, look at that lil tab along the top of the browser, it shows all the sister sites like AndroidCentral, Crackberry, TiPB, Precentral, WPCentral, and Nokia Experts. That doesn't work? Look all the way at the bottom....
"Copyright 2008 Smartphone Experts Ltd. All rights reserved."

Oh by the way, Congrats MS, love this new take on mobile interface, looks sleek. I'm very interested in trying it.

Those are sister sites, I come HERE ( originally ( and expect Apple and iDevice information.

@boots the title of this article says (the competition) if you've been coming to for any length of time you would know this isn't something new. Tipb often has news about other platforms. If u don't like it don't read it. So next time if you see ( the competition) do us all a favor and skip that article

Personally, I hope Microsoft has knocked one out of the ballpark on this one. I want it to totally rock and do well with this phone. Competition is good in this marketplace.

If you think this news has nothing to do with Apple and any iDevice... you might as well head back to Google and start over.

These things look bulky, plasticy and boring- with guys in bad suits. Show me IEMo6 actually doing something useful. Show me it integrate with my media. Or maybe. Maybe. Show me it doing something I don't ALREADY do with my iPhone...
BTW, I've got a three year old Sprint branded HTC Touch for sale cheap. Because, ya, I've been in MS land before and it's gonna take more than a boring interview/advertisment on The Today Show to get me to come back.

@Boot - Just b/c this is an Apple dedicated site, doesn't mean there isn't significant reason not to post about big news regarding their direct competition.

Not to be negative, or a fanboy, but I wasn't really impressed. Honestly, I think the only phone that could pull me away from the iPhone would be a WebOS phone with 4.3" screen.
The reason why I like my iPhone, is because Apple thinks of every last little detail and makes it perfect. I love that if something happens to my Apple products, they offer to fix or replace them without hesitation. I also like that when I pay $300 for my new phone, it isn't loaded with crapware. The iPhone is far from perfect, as is everything else in the world, but it's what works for me. I think that this new Windows 7 Phone is a huge improvement from the previous OS, but I think it still looks ugly and seems very awkward to use in everyday situations. I will play with one at a store, but I am still planning on getting my iPhone 4 next weekend.

As much as people criticized Apple for claiming the iPhone does things that people have done for years WM7 is even more of the same with just a different skin. At least Apple popularized a new way of interacting with phones.
Kudos to Microsoft for coming up with a slightly original UI, but fundamentally it does the same as any iOS, Android, WebOS, or Blackberry smartphone. And from a usability point of view I am not sold on the UI. It doesn't make anything more efficient and in fact considering people complained about having to swipe 5 or more pages on the iPhone to find an app (before Spotlight and folders) imagine having this in every app, ugh. Give me efficient, iconic tabs any day please...
Microsoft have missed an opportunity to do more unique things like innovative tie-ins to their Xbox Live service and even turn it into their portable gaming platform. Or how about integrate and extend the cloud storage of the Kin into WM7 and Windows 7 since that was actually a fairly unique selling point of the Kin?

Apple has basically done nothing with their interface since it came out. It's static and boring. Notification suck and their are no widgets. Apple is so worried about how the phone looks and not how it works. The ifail 4 is proof of that. Maybe this will shake things up a bit at Apple.

If Microsoft really wanted to recall days of glory, they shouldn't have named their phone OS after Windows 7. They should have called it Windows Phone 95.

Good luck with that, Ballmer. This might be your last chance to bring Microsoft into the 21st century. Kin certainly didn't. And if WP7 1.0 beta is another Kin-level fail, it might be time to un-install you. Microsoft's stock has stayed flat since you took over as CEO. Not Nokia-bad, but not good enough.

Does anybody else want to throw up at the thought of tapping "Interner Explorer" to view a website? Blah...

I willing to bet anybody that by the end of this year Windows Mobile 7 will reach more than 20% of the market. Drood will be dead. The have no chance. Apple will have a tougher battle. It will be very hard keeping up with all the companies launching windows phones every month.

Ok, what is this: smudge and scratch resistant technology, to quote what the phone will have. I think I have heard it all.

Can someone please explain to Microsoft the difference between simple and cheap? All their efforts to make interfaces simple just look cheap. I gotta say that WP7 interface really lowers the bar. Horrible, just horrible. It manages to make Android look sophisticated, in comparison.

Looks good, especially the gaming and media - which are Android/RIM's weak points. This isn't going to switch me from iPhone, but I think Android is in trouble... Microsoft is sharing the AppStore profits with the carriers, and allowing integrated billing (ie... you don't need to screw around setting up new accounts, the App/Music just shows up on your phone bill)

I'll let the platform mature a little more before I consider ditching my iPhone.... But as an xbox live user I'm intrigued.

No people ..
Android won't be dead .. Chances are that all 3.. iOS, ANdroid , and WP7 will be alive and well ... some doing better than others.
Blackberry on the other hand .. we'll have to wait

Intrigued by this new OS, I've been looking for all the information I can about it. I must say that it is the exact opposite of what iOS offers. It has massive amounts of customization and integration versus an un-customizable bunch of icons with zero integration. Windows Mobile 7 has caught my eye and I'm curious to see how this plays out. The notifications and facebook integration into the OS itself in the keynote video are pretty damn awesome. Never thought I'd say it, but when my contract is up...perhaps I may have a windows phone over the iphone4. Interesting indeed.