Microsoft is dropping the word “series” from “Windows Phone 7 Series,” the clunky name for the new mobile phone operating system the company plans to start selling during the holidays this year. It will henceforth be known as “Windows Phone 7.”
The operating system was previously known as “Windows Mobile 6.5” until the Mobile World Congress in March, when Microsoft said it was working on a touchscreen smartphone to compete with Apple’s iPhone.
The rechristened Windows Phone 7 is intended by Microsoft as a restart in the smartphone operating system arena, where the company has been losing market share for some time against fierce competitors such as Apple iPhone and Google Android. A recent survey from Appcelerator showed increased mobile developer interest in the Windows Phone 7 platform. Microsoft has stated that it will continue to support its previous Windows Mobile franchise, even as it pushes increased resources toward promoting Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft dropped “Series” from the “Windows Phone 7 Series” moniker for its upcoming smartphone line, streamlining a name repeatedly derided by the media for being a mouthful. The announcement comes as mobile developer interest in creating windows mobile applications for the platform has increased, according to a recent Appcelerator survey.
Windows Phone 7 Series devices will be released at an as-yet-unannounced point near the end of 2010. During March’s CTIA Wireless 2010 conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft demonstrated prototype phones running the operating system, which features a slick consumer interface reminiscent of the Zune HD. As opposed to devices such as the iPhone and Google Android, which emphasize pages of mobile applications, Windows Phone 7 Series aggregates Web content and mobile applications into category-specific “Hubs” such as “Games” and “People.”
Windows Phone 7 Series will leverage Silverlight and XMA to build rich content and 3D games. Features for mobile developers include a Microsoft Location Service, for acquiring location information via a single point of reference; Microsoft Notification Service, for pushing information to the device; Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone; and a Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator for testing.
The phone team announced the change via Twitter. “Tis the season for Series finales. We’ve got one too – dropping the ‘Series’ and keeping the ‘Windows Phone 7.’ Done,” Microsoft wrote in a tweet Friday. “The name modification is simply in response to customer feedback that they want a simpler way to say and use the name consistently,” Microsoft said later in a statement.