Windows Phone 7 not much different than Zune HD

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Windows Phone 7 Series, Windows mobile 7, the next-generation mobile-phone platform from Microsoft, is set to offer a great value to music fans: every phone will basically include the complete functionality of the Zune HD. Joe Belfiore, Windows Phone program management vice president, on Monday confirmed that the Zune HD's wireless sync will be carried forward to the phone platform.

The Interface is different. The face of Windows Phone 7 is not a rectangular grid of thumbnail-sized glossy-looking icons, arranged in a pattern of 4x4 or so, like basically every other phone. No, instead, an oversized set of bright, super flat squares fill the screen. The pop of the primary colors and exaggerated flatness produces a kind of cutting-edge crispness that feels both incredibly modern and playful. Text is big, and beautiful. The result is a feat no Microsoft Windows mobile phone has performed before: Making the iPhone's interface feel staid.

When you bring your Microsoft windows mobile phone home and plug it in, it will automatically scan local wireless networks to see if it recognizes your home Wi-Fi network. If it finds it, and your PC is turned on, the Zune software will launch and automatically do a two-way sync of all your music, videos, and pictures.

The differences between phones and MP3 players also mean some differences in how things work, particularly when it comes to purchasing content. For example, today, all Zune Marketplace purchases are billed by Microsoft. With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft will allow mobile operators to bill customers directly

Operators will love the additional revenue opportunity, and direct billing also removes a possible extra step for consumers - instead of having to enter a credit card number, you'll just see the purchase on your bill- which could increase purchases. It's a different approach than Apple has taken with the iTunes Store, and it will have to be managed carefully to avoid confusion--possible usability nightmares could ensue, if operators handle some charges, and Microsoft handles others.

The next generation of Windows Phone, due out toward the end of the year, is a big focus at Microsoft's Mix conference, covering windows mobile development, this week

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