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.

Phil Nickinson

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • Why do they even attach the name "Windows" to this? They're making a point that it's not like a Windows PC, it's not like existing WM phones, what's the point? Call it a zunephone and call it a day.
  • It's funny you say that. Just yesterday i was thinking how the panoramic interface makes it really seem like you're looking at the content of your phone, and by proxy, your life, through a window. And it's so much more than just a "Zunephone". It would be like calling the iPhone an "iPodphone", but i think it's even more of a simplification with WP7S. After having time to process it, i think MS is really on to something groundbreaking, even if it doesn't seem to meet all my expectations from what little we know.
  • Excellent question! Option 1 - use a new name, and start with a clean slate and then invest in creating equity in a new brand. Option 2 - leverage the core recognized consumer brand with universal consumer awareness, but tied to computers. Both options have benefits and challenges. I'm sure this conversation happened more than once. At least I hope so. ::-)
  • I think that's why they dropped the "Mobile" bit of the name and just went with Phone. So it's a Windows Phone, not really Windows Mobile in the sense that you're taking the Windows PC OS on the go itself. It's a small difference but everyone knows Windows already, far less know Zune. You go with what people know and build it. I also think from looking at the video that they should add more controls to the live tiles. Like for music, if it's playing then when you're in the start screen the live tile for that should have the same basic 3 controls on it directly so you don't have to jump back in like he did. But saying that, this is a very early build and just showing us a general idea/vision of the UI itself. Lots of stuff will be added for sure.
  • Well, the more I look at this new OS, the more it looks like an iphone OS. In the video, the user seems to be lost through scrolling left, right, up and down. It seems to me that the missing of the 'START' button is really a big deal, or a good file explorer program to manage all those weird "hubs" setting. It is the MIphone. MI for Microsoft. For now, it seems that Microsoft is going @ss backward, or as great as like a dog chasing its own tail.
  • And here is a prime example that no matter what you do, someone will be unhappy.
  • Lots of us are worried MS is chasing the "chrome" and forgetting the engine... As it stands now, this is useless for a corporate enviroment. So yeah, we have a right to be annoyed.
  • Office integration is useless?
  • We know next to zero about how the OS will work in a enterprise environment and what control business will have. Just because they're not showing you specific stuff doesn't mean it won't be there in the end. And like others have said, there's a whole Office hub and even Sharepoint intergration. How is that useless exactly? The redon email and calander stuff, useless? Honestly, there could very well be a more business oriented 2nd UI that doesn't go with tiles but something else, MS will NEVER, leave business out in the cold. If anyone thinks that then I don't know what to say.
  • Windows CE + ActiveSync... If you look at the ActiveSync standard it dictates/enforces security features the enterprise environments require --- it's part of the license... remember when Apple got in hot water for "faking" full compatibility and then subsequently fix that? This will be just fine I'm sure...
  • Has anyone stopped to think as to why they are running both WinMo 6.5.x and WP7S parallel? So that everyone can stop whining about what one THINKS the OS can or cannot do. The phone isn't even out and already we're complaining. I for one have a WinMo 6.1 Pro phone that I use extensively at my workplace. 6.5.x looks better but I welcome a fresh look and design as that of WinPho7Ser. MS knows their #1 customer base is from professional environment. They will not do something as foolish as to drive away those customers. Instead, they are creating something that attracts both professional and basic consumers. Jeez, people! Give it a chance. More news will come from the MIX next month so stop the whining until then.
  • yeah what? Calendar, exchange, email, office integration, uhhhhh what?
  • Wasn't the Miphone in the Simpsons episode when Springfield got a Mapple store? :) Good point about the name though. WP7 no longer uses the "Windows" metaphor so I suppose they wanted to use the Windows brand to help promote this new OS (because the Microsoft brand is apparent unheard of!)
  • Give it a chance, change is not easy on everyone. This is very similar to what happened with the release of Vista. By the time Windows 7 was launched, people had warmed up to the new UI.
    All I can say is if you are not happy with WP7S stick with WM6.5 and cook your own ROMs and skins to your satisfaction. Otherwise buy Android and make less noise.
  • I think you're right, which is why the HTC Supersonic will likely be my next phone :)
  • I would like to see multitasking like on WINDOWS 7. Maybe hold the windows button and a preview of all open apps opens up, like on the Win7 taskbar.
  • I really think multitasking IS in there, just that the builds they're using now don't have much of the stuff on or working quite right. Seeing how they redid the whole UI they'll probably have some fancy way to switch apps later on. I don't see why, since this is still CE at the core, it wouldn't have multitasking.
  • do we know that ce is still at the heart of the os - i thought winpho7 is a complete re-write, so perhaps not? benefits of limited multitasking: - faster apps
    - longer battery life this begs the question - what are the minimum memory, battery and cpu specs for winpho7?
  • The only thing attracting me is Zune Pass, since I'm a Rhapsody subscriber. Sense UI (both WinMo and Android versions) just seem much more appealing. If only Android had protected WMA support.
  • I have to say this looks really slick. It's obvious A LOT Of research went in to how people use or want to use their phones. One thing is for sure, the out of box experience will be very good. By way of comparison WM really needs a lot of 3rd party apps to get it to where you want it to be. Now concerns:
    1) I don't like the keyboard entry on the Zune. I hope that's improved on windows phone 7
    2) IE. Maybe they'll do a great job porting IE over to this, but as of now I'm reluctant to go with any mobile that doesn't have webkit on it. After all, the browser is probably my most use tool.
    3) Calendar syncing is via exchange (to Google for example.) On iPhone I'm able to use CalDAV to Google for personal calendars while I use Exchange to connect to work. It doesn't feel like MS is going to have much support beyond Exchange.
    I'd like to eventually see more detail about email. How does push mail work on this, how are you notified. Does it support IMAP idle? Stuff like that.
    4) The interface is great, and I like the hubs. I know this is an early demo, but it seems like transitions from one screen to the next are just a little too slow.
    Transitions need to be
  • I would agree, pinch zoom on calendar is a great feature request :)
  • From watching that video, I think it will be a disaster. Nothing is intuitive on it at all. If I wanted to bring up an app I installed, like Garmin, where to I click to get to it? I saw nothing user friendly about it.
  • There is a list of installed apps on the side, but id imagine new apps would appear on the homescreen by default, as well as in their respective hubs if applicable. Im excited by what I see and if it pans out the way they promise, ill be all onboard. This does still look rough around the edges, like some lagging response, easy to accidentally do the wrong touch, and animations that take it 3+ seconds to get to the app or hub you want.
  • There is a list of installed apps on the side, but id imagine new apps would appear on the homescreen by default, as well as in their respective hubs if applicable. Im excited by what I see and if it pans out the way they promise, ill be all onboard. This does still look rough around the edges, like some lagging response, easy to accidentally do the wrong touch, and animations that take it 3+ seconds to get to the app or hub you want.
  • There are some well written comments on here. So when is WME going to institute comment ranking? They've gotten big enough that this would be a really nice feature. While I agree we don't have the kind of commentors on here that that they have over at that other gadget, there are enough comments per all their postings that to be able to rank the best ones and down vote the others would be a nice next step. The discussion here is definitely more intelligent and though-provoking than anywhere else.
  • I don't quite understand all the "non-intuitive" and "not good for business users" comments... I think those comments are stemming more from the fact that the UI has changed from what we know rather than from taking a step back and trying to understand the motivation for some of those decisions. And as someone else said, there are certainly features that have not been shown yet. If you watch the initial walk through from Microsoft's press event monday, it's explained very well. I would say that only WebOS can come close to the level of intuition and creativity in a phone OS than Microsoft did here. This is no longer a panel of icons/widgets (ala iphone and android) and click app, close app methodology of using a phone. Your phone's contents are logically collated in hubs that make sense. You don't have to go to facebook to see those pictures or to your storage card to see those, you just go to "pictures" and take deeper dives from there, and the same basic flow of information follows every hub and throughout the OS. If this isn't intuitive...then I'm struggling to understand why... We still haven't seen how notifications are handled (or I haven't at least) and precisely how 3rd party apps will fit in, we all know their necessity. I doubt those items were left off the shelf however, we'll see them soon enough.
  • Ok, I will come back 2012 with 3rd party apps support for a real spin of the MIphone. WM6.5.x is still the best until the end of 2011. You cannot deny that. Between Vista and XP, I will choose XP. Between Windows 7 and XP, it's 50/50 for now. Being an old version doesn't necessarily means it is worst than the new one. But eventually, the old OS will be gone! However, the missing of the START button is definitely a NO in my book. With this Windows Phone 7, it's definitely 41.5/58.5 in favor of WM6.5.x as of 2010. Just look at what an HD2 with SPB Mobile Shell 5 can do.
  • The old OS would have been gone no matter what - had MS continued to develop WM6.x.x/7.x.x, Microsoft would have been out of the smartphone market in two years. Instead, they've changed gears and are making the OS relevant while (hopefully) remembering what was right about WM5/6/etc. We'll find out more as the launch approaches, but to dismiss WP7S when you've only seen the UI is a little premature.
  • 50/50 between XP and 7!? Have you tried 7? I would never go back to XP. All that ALT+CTRL+Delete because it doesn't know how to handle my systems ram, all that bad multitasking, the endless reboots. Windows 7 is miles ahead, open your eyes!
  • you know where they went wrong here? they are trying to create an experience for the user. the logic behind that approach is just so useless seeing that everyone is different. what they should have done is tried to create a product. a product with capabilities. whatever product has the most capabilities wins, end of story. thats why WM has done so well to this point even though it is ugly and slow. it simply could do the most. it wasnt an experience phone with flashy gimmicks. it was a product with more capabilities than the other products. now your going to kick all those customers into the curb, hop into the "experience" market (where you have never succeeded, ever), and forget about capabilities? the bottom line is this, the mass market is not going to go for this because its not as pretty as the competition, simple as that(put this next to an android or iphone and only delusional microsoft fanboys will go to WP7) and if this build has LESS capabilities than WM6.5, then its a fail no questions asked. you either have to have MORE CAPABILITES or MORE APPEAL, there is really no arguing with this. hopefully i am wrong. i am hoping that WP7 has more capabilites than 6.5. i like WM for the freedom(more capabilites). but seriously someone tyr to tell me where i am wrong
  • I think we would agree that winmo phones even today have more capabilities that other smartphones on the market. But then, followinh your logic, winmo should be increasing its market share year after year that it has superior capabilities. And yet, winmo has been loosing market share. Why is that? Because winmo has become marginalized by the market? And why did that happen? Because the market got a look at something else that it liked better. And what was that? 1) simplerand faster interface - like it or not the iphone "springboard" one button click app launcher was simple enough for millions of former RAZR owners 2) very cool new capabilities that captured the imagination of users: visual voice mail, easy and fast internet browsing...etc.... 3) easy os upgrades via itunes 4) centralized app store And for all those people who say iphones are not for business - the corporations where i've worked during the last 3 year, execs have been using iphones a LOT. Where they've had winmo phones, they've complained and wanted blackberries or iphones. so. it's never about actual capabilities. it's about perceptions and market acceptance.
  • it is always about capabilites. a product without many capabilites will not be accepted by the market. the iphone is a very capable phone, but it also blew the market out of the water with functional appeal. "it just works" is what everyone said. which it does. it had and has the best of both worlds; appeal and capabilities. WM has always had just enough capabilities to keep stable. but other phones were getting closer to the iphone with equal capabilities without the slow clunkyness of WM. thats why WM started to fail. they kept the capabilities but completely ignored the functional appeal and appearance. "market acceptance" is based on those things and not much else. its very superficial. this is where i think WP7 will fail. it VERY obviously does not have the appeal or nice appearance as most phones out there like android or iphone do. and by the looks of it, it seems like they are only equaling in capabilities. how can a market accept that? this isnt rocket science, you HAVE to be better than the competition in one way or another, WP7 is just not, as far as I can see. you really cant argue with this
  • I dont call it Zune Phone but I do call it
    -Butt Ugly Phone
    -NotMyPhone.. ever
    and a few other choice names
  • I can see now why they changed the name, because now you don't have nor a pocket PC, nor a mobile version of windows... So far I'm not liking what I see, I will stick with WM6.5... its much better IMHO...