After months of build-up, Microsoft has finally unveiled the first Windows Phone 7 devices that are due to launch in the very near future. The company is hoping that the latest foray into the smartphone market will be more successful that previous attempts in which Windows Mobile devices picked up very small market shares, with the aim of eating into Apple, Google and Blackberry’s stranglehold on the market.
As the Windows Phone 7 is a range of smartphone, it should come as no surprise that HTC features heavily in the handset lineup. The first wave of handsets to hit the UK comprises the HTC HD7, HTC 7 Trophy, LG Optimus 7, Samsung Omnia 7, HTC 7 Mozart and Dell Venue Pro.
With the success of the Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7 has a strong gaming focus – to the extent that more games will be available for the handsets that were originally available for the console at launch. Microsoft has purposely made it easy for games developers to port games from Xbox Arcade to Windows Phone 7.
Just as the iPhone was criticised for its lack of multi-tasking, similar complaints are likely to be levelled at Windows Phone 7 devices. While core elements such as music and calls can be run as background tasks, this option will not be available to third party app. The lack of multi-tasking is most likely a result of an attempt to maximise battery life, and with the minimum processor specification of a Windows Phone 7 device being 1GHz, this is somewhat understandable.
One area in which Microsoft may find that they are able to win over fans of Apple is in the implementation of its app store. As well as offering a number of different ways to pay for app, it will also be possible to download trial versions of apps so you can try before you commit to buying.
The new handsets will be available from October 21 in Europe and Asia, and from November 8 in the US. Find out more at the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 web site.