Windows phone 7 Series

What you see above is the Microsoft sign at Mobile World Congress. At first there was nothing special except for a large sticker covering...something.

The savvy cats at Engadget decided to use the "X-ray filter" in Photoshop and lo and behold, beneath the sticker it says: 7 Series.

Seven?  Series? Sounds like that might be hinting at the rumored Business and Multimedia editions that we mentioned a few weeks ago.

While we don't know all of the details about what Microsoft has in mind for Monday, we're still surmising that the overall strategy (and what we've talked about during the podcast #88, #89) is thus:

  • Pink/Zune/Turtle/Pure phones = Feature phones; not full Wp7
  • Business Edition = The true upgrade path for WM6.5 --> Wp7; customizable 
  • Media Edition = Combine the Pink & Business edition for one high end smartphone

Call us crazy, but we think this three-pronged approach (with only two being 'true' Windows phone 7 devices) is what Microsoft is attempting.  Mind you, according to the WSJ, we might not even hear about Pink/Zune/Turtle/Pure at Mobile World Congress. That actually makes sense as those devices are not true Windows phone 7 series nor would they want to scare off their OEMs.

It's also becoming more clear that last week's "rumors" were probably more about Project Pink than Windows phone 7, which we strongly suggested ;-)

So, what do you think? Sound off below!

Windows Phone Starter edition is officially official

Rumors have been floating since the big Windows Phone 7 Series announcement at Mobile World Congress that Microsoft would be offering a "Starter Edition" of Windows Mobile 6 aimed at least partially at emerging markets (see the original announcement by Bsquare). Up to this point all information on Starter Edition has been coming from "sources familiar with the matter." But Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet was able to coax a Microsoft mobile spokesperson into answering some questions.

Some quick details about Windows Phone 6 Starter edition:

  • Will be offered in multi-language versions
  • Versions with and without Microsoft Office Mobile will be offered. (Office Mobile 2010 will be made available to OEMs when it ships.)
  • Supports 2G (GSM), 2.5G (CDMA2000 xRTT, EDGE, GPRS), CDMA (Rev A, EV-DO Revision A), and TD-SCDMA radios. Engadget postulates that the conspicuous absence of HSDPA 3G is an attempt to encourage adoption of Windows Phone 7 Series devices internationally where 3G networks are substantial enough.

What are your thoughts on Starter Edition? [via ZDNet]

Best of Smartphone Experts, 21 Feb 2010 - MWC Edition

Live From Microsoft's MWC 2010 Keynote


We'll be live from Microsoft's press event. It starts at 9 Eastern / 3 CET. We're Ready.Set. - no need to refresh the page, just watch the excitement, live after the break!

Update: That's all folks. Feel free to read the liveblog or check out some of the new posts on the front page - plenty is here now and plenty more to come!

SPE at MWC Podcast Three: BlackBerry, HTC, and More!

We are outie-5000 from Mobile World Congress, folks. There are a couple straggler posts we'll catch up on, but in the meantime listen in for our thoughts on some BlackBerry news, yeah, but also HTC's big announcements. Listen in!

You can find the first SPE MWC Podcast here and the second SPE MWC Podcast here. The second  podcast is where we talk up Windows Phone 7 Series, so if you missed it, check it out.

WMExperts Podcast - Windows Phone 7 Series special at Mobile World Congress

Phil, Dieter and Crackberry Kevin wrap up Monday's Mobile World Congress news, including Microsoft's little announcement of a thing called Windows Phone 7 Series.

Acer announces P300 and P400

Acer has announced two new Windows Phones that will be running Windows Mobile 6.5.3.

The Acer Neotouch P300 is a sliding-keyboard designed Windows Phone that will sport a 3.2" WQVGA touch screen.  The Acer NeoTouch P400 is a "black slab" Windows Phone that is powered by the Qualcomm 7227 600mhz processor.

The P300 is listed as being available in March of 2010 while the P400 is expected to hit the market in May of 2010. Both will likely hit the European market first, with the potential of eventually finding the U.S. market.

Dieter and Phil hope to get some hands-on time with these two Windows Phones but in the meantime, for more on the available specs and pictures of these Acer phones, ease on past the break.

WME @ MWC: SPB Mobile Shell 5.0

For you fans of SPB Mobile Shell out there, we're pleased to report that good things are coming in Version 5.0. They're not quite ready for you yet, but they're coming this year. The 3D animations are as smooth as butter, and the video doesn't do justice to how nice it looks on a screen as large as the HTC HD2. Peep the video after the break.

WME @ MWC: Hands-on with the Toshiba TG02

Toshiba still has some of the biggest and most elusive (at least in the U.S.) phones around. Case in point: The TG02. This 4.1-inch monster sports the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB of ROM/256MB of RAM and SPB Mobile Shell running atop Windows Mobile 6.5.3.

Nothing too crazy about that (and we couldn't get them to answer on the whole "waterproof" thing we saw in early leaks. But this is one of the lightest phones you'll ever see -- especially for something with a 4.1-inch screen. It's crazy light. If you were to drop it, it'd probably just float back to Earth. It's that light. It's also pretty darn snappy, thanks to, well, Snapdragon. See for yourself after the break.

WME @ MWC: Video hands-on No. 2 with Windows Phone 7 Series

We had a much more quiet look at Windows Phone 7 Series today at Mobile World Congress, and it really brings the upcoming Microsoft operating system into a new light. (See our previous hands-on.) Yes, it still looks like it's based on the Zune software, but it's really so much more. And we heard a few of you still calling it a Zune phone, and we're calling you out as soon as we get back.

Check out our latest hands-on from Barcelona after the break.

WME @ MWC: Hands-on with the Toshiba K01

We actually got to handle the Toshiba K01 a lot more than you'll get to see in this hands-on, and it's an interesting little (erm, huge, actually) phone. It has a 4.1-inch screen, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a full four-row QWERTY keyboard. But darned if it's not light as a feather and pretty speedy to boot, even in its unfinshed, "No, you can't video it it yet" form.

Like the TG01 and its follow-up, the TG02, it's unlikely we'll see it in the United States. But we've got you covered with more after the break.

HTC HD Mini Promo Video

We've shared the announcement news on the HTC HD Mini and we've shared some hands on time with the new Windows Phone.  HTC now has the HD Mini listed on their UK website detailing the full specs on the phone.  Along with the specs already listed in the announcement, the HD Mini will have GPS, Wifi, Proximity, Light, and G Sensors. 

The specifications also indicate social networking capability with Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.  There is also an interesting feature listed that automatically lowers the ringer volume when you pick the phone up and increases it when the phone is in a case, pocket, purse, etc.  Keep in mind that these are the European specs and if this phone lands in the U.S. it may vary slightly. 

Ease on past the break to see the promotional video that HTC is offering on the HD Mini.

T-Mobile's HD2 Mobile Entertainment Experience

We've known for some time now that the HD2 is headed to T-Mobile. Today at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, T-Mobile announced the creation of a comprehensive mobile entertainment experience for the HTC Windows Phone. The Entertainment Package will be pre-loaded on the T-Mobile HD2 that will include:

  • Barnes & Noble eReader
  • Blockbuster on Demand (Blockbuster’s first-ever video download application on a smartphone)
  • MobiTV
  • Paramount Pictures "Transformers" and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"
  • Gogo Inflight Internet Services (six month trial for inflight wifi services on over 2,500 daily U.S. flights)

The Paramount Pictures movies are reportedly loaded on a pre-installed 16gb microSD card. The Entertainment package is designed to highlight the multimedia features of the HD2.

“T-Mobile is committed to offering innovative solutions to connect, inspire and entertain our customers through the power of mobile technology,” said George Harrison, vice president, marketing product innovation, T-Mobile USA. “By combining leading innovation in the world of entertainment with the large screen and processing power of the HTC HD2, we’ve created a unique and powerful mobile entertainment experience.”

The T-Mobile HD2 is expected in stores this Spring.


WME @ MWC: Hands-on with the new Windows Mobile HTC HD Mini, Update: With Video!

The HTC HD Mini: Same massive Windows Mobile power (or nearly so), in a smaller -- or at least more normal-sized than the HD2 -- body. The HD Mini sports Windows Mobile 6.5.3. Full pictorial after the break.

SPB announces Mobile Shell 5.0

For the longest time SPB Mobile Shell was easily the best choice to customize the look and feel of your touchscreen Windows Mobile device. Our review of the most recent version of Mobile Shell (version 3.5) touted SPB’s penchant for putting so much functionality at your fingertips.

Somewhat lost in the shuffle of Microsoft’s big Windows Phone Seven Series announcement at Mobile World Congress, SPB announced version 5.0 of SPB Mobile Shell. Mobile Shell 5.0 introduces a number of new features such as a 3D engine which allows for a number of 3 dimensional graphical effects  and 3d widgets. Improved support for social networks such as Facebook and Twitter will allow for status updates as well as contact and photo synchronization. One innovative feature that SPB is introducing is their Natural Interaction Engine which will provide support for technologies for Multitouch and G-sensors.

SPB has made a significant investment in the developer/hardware manufacturer segments with Mobile Shell 5.0. SPB UI Builder 2.0 is a set of tools that allow for customization of Mobile Shell and includes access to a number of APIs and includes a skin builder and plugins for integration for industry tools such as 3DMAX and Microsoft Expression Blend.

We have hands-on video coming. Stay tuned, folks.


Windows Phone 7 Series: Answers and Questions


Microsoft needed to really turn heads today with their Windows Mobile 7 Series presentation.  The presentation was critical to squelch the rumors, silence the critics who have ready to announce the death of Windows Mobile and to remain competitive in the Smartphone industry.

Steve Ballmer gave no context for what was to be presented believing it was important to just get on with the show and let Joe Balifore, Microsoft VP in charge of Windows Phones, lead the way in raising the curtain on the 7 Series. "In the end, this is all about the phones and how consumers will react." Balmer said. "It was important to get it (7 Series) out, show what we have now, rather than have it leaked out."

Microsoft needed to breath new life into one of the oldest mobile platforms still in existence. Based on what we saw this morning during the presentation and the hands-on time spent with the new OS, Microsoft did what it needed to do and did it well. Follow the break for more observations and thoughts on Microsoft's' Windows Phone 7 Series presentation.

Windows Phone 7 Series Eyes On and Demo - Voice Search Appears!

We just snagged some more hands-on time with Windows Phone 7 Series (can we just call it WP7 yet?). Don't pay attention to the hardware or even the occasional slowdown. The hardware is just a dev unit and not what we'll see. The software has plenty of time to simmer a bit before it's pre-holiday 2010 release date.

What you should pay attention to is the fluidity of the interface and how nice it is that the device can pull in from multiple sources to multiple places. Instead of thinking "I want to go to facebook to look at pictures from my friend," you just open the Pictures hub. Hubs and not apps.

Also, looks like there's at least one unannounced feature here - some sort of voice search. About 2:20 in the video (which is after the break, by the way), the voice search pops up and, well, isn't quite ready for prime time. We're ready for it, though, and here's to hoping it's ready by launch.

Windows Phone 7 Series - MS Demo Video

Got three minutes to spare to see what Microsoft wants you to know about Windows Phone Series 7? Got Silverlight installed? Of course the answer is yes and yes. Check it out or hit up Microsoft's press area for another video detailing the design inspirations

Oh yeah - hands on with a previously unannounced "Oops, we didn't mean to show that" coming soon!

Windows Phone 7 Series - Interface and Features

What do you need to know about Windows Phone 7 Series? It's not Windows Mobile as you know it - the re-branding from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone Series 7 is completely appropriate. Here's the big changes and some (very very early) impressions.

Read on for our early take of this early build of Windows Phone 7 Series

SPE at Mobile World Congress

Here we are, folks. It took a couple of tries, but we're on the ground in Spain at Mobile World Congress and will be on hand for Microsoft's big event today. We're all expecting the launch of Windows Mobile 7, at least, and it's a big day, indeed.

So, to celebrate, we did a late-night (in Barcelona, anyway) kickoff podcast with myself, Dieter Bohn and's Kevin Michaluk. Listen in as we discuss the first-day hijinx, and what we think we'll see the rest of the week.

And if you want to follow along, use this link for the official stories, and follow WMExperts on Twitter for the live stuff. And now, that kickoff podcast: