So the big question is: When can you actually buy a Windows Phone 7 device?
At least for Europe, that date appears to be October 21st.
Numerous sources, including a Microsoft raffle for a WP7 device (winner announced after the 21st) and an article in a German magazine ("Euro am Sonntag") have colluded to back-up that very day as the first for commercially available devices. This also jives with the HD7 release in "week 42" info that came out a few days ago.
Now the flip side is what about the U.S.? While we have not had such specific dates mentioned, it's not too hard to imagine that the U.S. will have a similar time-frame, at least within the same week we hope.
There's more news coming out of the Windows Live camp. Windows Phone Live is in the works (that sounds a lot like Microsoft's MyPhone) which will add to the list of mobile features Windows Live offers.
Slated to be a part of the new Windows Live Devices (which will include your Windows Phone 7, Skydrive, etc.) services, this new feature will allow users four options in dealing with a lost phone. The options include:
Map It: See your phone's approximate location via BING maps.
Ring It: Have your phone ring loudly for sixty seconds using a special ringtone. The ringer will sound even if your phone is silent or on vibrate only.
Lock It: Lock your phone so that nobody else can access it. You will also have the ability to display instructions on how to return your lost phone on the screen.
Erase It: Reset your phone to the factory settings and erase all the information on it (e.g. Hard Reset).
These recovery services are slated to be free of charge through your Windows Live account. While there's no information on when these services will go live, if we had to guess, they'll likely be part of the next round of updates to Windows Live that have been described as "imminent".
Winmote 7 (or WMote 7) is a remote control application for Windows Phone 7 that allows you to access and control your computer through your Windows Phone 7 device.
In watching the video demonstration, WinMote allows you to control and view multi-media apps that reside on your computer. Granted my French is énormément rusty, but loosely translated the features include:
Remotely control your browser to access web sites
Listen to radio channels
Watch videos stored on your computer from your Windows Phone
Remotely control television viewers
View and download photos
Remotely control and view Powerpoint presentations
Running from what appears to be a Windows Phone 7 developer's unit, WinMote appears to run smoothly and interfaces nicely with the PC. No word on when or where WinMote will be available. It's an interesting application worth looking for when Windows Phone 7 hits the masses.
To refresh, the device runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3 and rocks
2.6-inch 320x240 QVGA touchscreen
100MB of "end-user memory"
1400 mAh battery
H.264 video playback
WiFi b/g, USB 2.0.
Not bad for such a small guy. Unfortunately, pricing is $799 for the phone and its only available for government, enterprise and small business users. Plus the service is $25 a month for satellite access and you're charged on a per minute, per message and per mega-byte basis, which we'd image could quickly add up, you James Bond wannabe.
But hey, maybe we'll get a review unit anyways for the good ol' WinMo days?
And for the time being, we'll file it under "Rumors we wouldn't mind seeing come true" because it looks really nice. There are some indicators that make us lean towards thinking this is for real but in the same breath, those indicators can be fabricated just as easy as the video itself.
At the bottom of the screen you can faintly read "HTC Confidential" and "For Internal Use Only". Additionally, there is a faint watermark on the video that reads, "EU Products". At first I was thinking "EU Products" was the company making the presentation. But is it a stretch to think this could be HTC's internal designation for European products? Seeing that Europe is due to get Windows Phone 7 first, it may not be that much of a stretch if this is legit.
So is the video too good to be true or a sign of things to come?
As some pointed out in the earlier video, it now appears as if this will be a Hub within Windows Phone 7 (as the video above demonstrates). WMExperts member GP007 described it as a "Super App".
Pocketpt.net posted the above video and commented (translated), "The PocketPT.net had exclusive access to the new HTC Mozart, a Windows Phone Equipment 7 very interesting. One component that has few people had access was the HTC HUB interface, which presents itself as the best ever made by HTC.".
The Hub demoed differs slightly from what we saw earlier today, focusing mostly with the weather panel. With Microsoft's earlier stance against third party UI's, a hub makes sense for Sense.
Regardless how Sense lands on Windows Phone 7, based on these two demos, it's going to look good.
Microsoft just announced their international roll-out of the Zune music and entertainment service to more than 20 countries this fall. Seeing as the Zune marketplace and software is at the core of Windows Phone 7, this announcement is not too surprising, but it is welcomed nonetheless.
Beginning this fall (we bet October), Microsoft will make the Zune services available in U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain and 15 other European countries (part of that EFIGS list, no doubt). In addition, we'll see the new Zune software bumped to v4.7 which will add the Windows Phone 7 device support (goodbye ActiveSync!).
The Zune marketplace allows syncing of music, videos, podcasts (audio and video), pictures, games/applications and will now includes the ability to watch HD movies:
The updated Zune software will also enable instant streaming of high-definition movies, allowing you to watch some Zune Marketplace movies in HD, with no download time, directly on a Windows PC.
Consumers will now be able to purchase movies to download and watch anywhere — on the big screen in the living room with Xbox LIVE or their Windows-based PC as well as sync it to their Windows Phone 7 to enjoy on the go.
Huzzah! We like this a lot.
Prices in the U.S. will remain the same at $14.99/month for the Zune Pass (not required), which gives unlimited music downloads and the ability to "keep" 10 MP3s a month. (So much for that price reduction rumor).
No word on Mac support, but we're assuming Microsoft will do something about that in the future as well--after all, large updates to our new phones are reliant on desktop-syncing (with small updates available OTA).
What can we say? We love the Zune marketplace, Zune Pass and the ability for '3 screen' support of all our music, podcasts, pictures and now HD movies and TV. We can't wait till this all comes together in a few weeks...you?
In a nice demonstration of just how easy it is for Silverlight developers to port over their creations to Windows Phone 7, the developer of the classic online game 'Zero Gravity' has ported brought over his creation for our new OS. He had this to say about the process:
What amazed me the most out of this whole experience is that the codebase written back in WPF/e was able to be recompiled with very little modification into the latest version of silverlight
In a new and reportedly "final" video for the software, we get to see exactly how it will play out on our future Windows Phone 7 devices.
The program differs mostly in the UI, specifically featuring a "cloud" view of your contacts in addition to the traditional "long scroll" view. It seems a bit busy to us, but we're all for different takes on software and we know some of you will prefer this--alternatives are always good.
The listed features of Twozaic are:
Twozaic supports different views of all your twitter timelines: cloud view, histogram & ordinary list view.
You can also post pictures with geo location using Plixi (Tweetphoto), Yfrog or Twitpic.
Twozaic supports multiple accounts with easy switching.
You can search users and tweets.
You can create your own lists, add members, and follow lists of other people.
Twozaic offers full support for managing your friends and followers as well as sending and managing direct messages.
Windows Live has already gone through a series of updates recently including ActiveSync support. In the next wave of updates, tagged Windows Live Wave 4, Microsoft will be adding (at least) the following features:
Windows Live Calendar will feature a five day weather forecast. Weather forecast information will be shown in the day, week, and month views. Users will also have the ability to change the city/zip code for the forecast.
Windows Live Hotmail and Calendar will be adding full-session SSL support.
There's also may be a little house cleaning with Windows Live in the form of a slight name change. Instead of "Windows Live Calendar", we may be referring to the calendar as "Windows Live Hotmail Calendar". While it may sound superficial, it pulls the calendar in line with the other Hotmail features on Windows Live.
While the word "imminent" was used to describe the Wave 4 update, no hard date has been set for the release. We also aren't sure what new online features will carry over to the Windows Phone.
Yomomedia is a popular RSS reader that we look at a long time ago (feels like an eternity) for Windows Mobile. We are now seeing a video from the software developer showing off their popular reader for Windows Phone 7.
We liked the Windows Mobile version and the Windows Phone 7 version looks really good. It's just another reason these new phones can't get here quick enough.
The HTC HD7 has been priced. At least with the European wireless carrier O2.
A leaked pricing list indicates the HD7 will run you 559 Euros out of contract (about $730 US Dollars) and with contractual discounts, as low as 79 Euros (about $104 US Dollars). The pricing list also indicates availability during week 42 which is the week after Microsoft's October 11th event.
The Samsung Cetus i917 was caught on tape recently during a Channel 9 "Inside Windows Phone" taping. Charles Kindel, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 program manager, shows off the phone during the brief interview.
The Cetus is reported to have a 4", 800x480, AMOLED screen and looks really nice in the video. The Cetus is thin enough to be carried in your front pants pocket but does the phone looks small for a 4" screen?
While the appearance was brief, the video of the Cetus also reveals a home control system app that can control lights, thermostat settings and garage doors.
You can catch the full video excerpt featuring the Cetus after the break and the full, seventeen minute video of Channel 9's "Inside Windows Phone" video here.