Windows Phone 7 is a mobile OS which has been developed by Microsoft. It is expected to be launched in 2011 in Asia; whilst already being launched in other continents. This OS offers a new user interface which integrates all other services of Microsoft.
Development of the OS – Microsoft began working on the Windows Mobile update; which is the Windows Phone 7 in 2004 using the codename of Photon. However, does to delayed progress, the project stood cancelled; only to start afresh in 2008 in order to release it in 2009. Here again, due to constant delays lead to Microsoft releasing Windows Mobile 6.5. Finally, when the development started again, Windows Phone 7, incompatible with Windows Mobile applications, was quickly developed. This was done keeping in mind the end users and the enterprise network.
Hardware – The minimum hardware requirements include a capacitive, 4-point multi-touch screen with a WVGA resolution(800×480), a directX9 rendering-capable GPU, 256MB of RAM containing a minimum of 8GB flash memory, a 1GHz ARM processor, 5MP camera with a LED flash, FM radio tuner and 6 dedicated hardware buttons for back, start, search, camera, power/sleep and volume adjustment. In addition to this, it must also contain an accelerometer with compass, ambient light and proximity sensor and assisted GPS.
Features of Windows 7 Mobile Operating System
User interface – The latest OS features a new user interface, called Metro. The home screen is made up of Tiles which are links to applications, features, functions and individual items like contacts, web pages, applications or media items. Users have the freedom of adding, rearranging or removing tiles. Different features of the Windows Phone 7 are organized into what are called, hubs, which do the work of combining local and online content via the OS’s integration with social networking sites like Facebook. There are also other in-built hubs like Music and Video which integrate with Zune player and games which integrate with Xbox Live. With a multi-touch technology, the user interface has a dark theme due to which the battery life on the OLED screen increases because fully black pixels don’t emit light. Users also have the option of selecting a light theme and different colors.
Text input – There is an on-screen virtual keyboard with enabled spell check and word prediction. Here, users have the option of changing a word after it has been typed by tapping similar words. The software will then provide various alternatives of similar words.
Search – There is a dedicated search button on the front of the device which performs different actions viz. pressing the search button when an application is running will enable users to search within applications. Examples of search usage include searching contacts; perform a search of websites, news and maps by using the Bing application, which is the default search application due to deep integration of functions in this OS. However, other search engines can also be used. The voice recognition system in the Windows Phone 7 is powered by TellMe and allows users to perform a search on Bing for the purpose of calling and launching applications.
Advertising platform – This version of the OS contains an advertising platform which will serve as an ad-serving machine meaning it will make the user aware about various advertising and brand related content. It will feature advertising tiles near applications, thereby bringing updated advertising notifications. Thus, Windows Phone 7 aim is to connect directly with the users and preserving the brand experience by going directly from the web site to the application.
Applications – There is an entirely new division of Microsoft Game Studios for developing games for the Windows Phone 7. There are many Xbox- Live integrated games available for the OS like UNO. There is also a search application Netflix and an accelerometer controlled Coding4 Fun t-shirt cannon. Its user interface is designed by the 352 Media Group. The OS supports removable SD memory cards. A major disadvantage however is that once the SD card is replaced, all data is lost and settings are restored to factory settings. A silver lining here is that some of the user’s data can be retrieved on the phone by using Windows Live ID because the OS was designed to support a single, unified file system for data storage.
Any features I have missed out? Why not add it in the comments section!