This week is Microsoft's MIX10 conference. While I'm not attending in person, I am trying to catch the keynotes and as well as following some of the Twitter comments. In Scott Guthrie's opening keynote, there was a lot to be noted. It was clear that some of the big news was on Microsoft's efforts to take one more stab at the mobile market.
A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 Series, or Windows Phone 7. If you are like me, you'll find that this name simply doesn't roll off the tongue. It isn't slick like iPhone or Android. It isn't even geeky like System 40. As a name, it is simply...drab.
The initial demos, however, were not as drab. If you watch the MIX Keynote, you'll get a nice long look at this phone and even be able to see Scott Guthrie walk through creating a Twitter application. The one thing that seemed clear when the phone was demoed is that people agree that it does step up to the challenge of the iPhone and Android. It seems that the interface is clean and simple, yet robust to do what you'd want.
One thing that is clear with the interface is that it is not all completely new. If you've used a Microsoft Zune device, you will feel very much at home with the navigation within much of the Microsoft Phone. The concepts in the Zune are solidly founded in the Windows Phone. This includes both the vertical and horizontal scrolling and categorizations. Being that the phone will do contacts, music, applications, and more, this is a good move.
Interestingly enough, many of these concepts are also finding their way into Microsoft's Xbox Live system as well. When you consider the connectivity, the menuing, and more, then in my opinion, this is all great! If Microsoft can pull the features of the Xbox Live community into their phone and combine that with the media features of the Zune along with the lessons learned in search and location based tracking found in Bing, then it might just be an like an alignment of the planets, and it could cause massive tidal waves in the mobile market.
Windows Phone 7 Applications
Of course, to really succeed, there needs to be applications. Microsoft has stepped up to help make building applications. This includes providing free tools. If you have Microsoft Visual Studio, you can download Windows Phone 7 Series add-in that can be used with the current Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate. If you don't have Microsoft Visual Studio, then you can use Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone. The Express editions of Visual Studio have been free downloads. You can also use XNA Studio 4.0 and the Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone Community CTP.
Have a thought on Windows Phone 7 or on what it should be called? Have you built an application? If so, comment on my blog and let us know what you think or have done. Microsoft wants you to be able to download the tools and be able to build an application in 30 minutes. Is it possible? Again, share by commenting on the blog with your experience!
Images from Microsoft Corporation