With the Developer Tool Kit and pre-production devices for developers out of the way, Microsoft is now trying to get the web talking about its upcoming Windows Phone 7 OS and range of devices. Today, they revealed some more details about the cloud services that Windows Phone 7 (WP7) will feature as well as details on the countries where Windows Phone 7 will make a splash first. Most of the information is old, so we will just tell you what’s new.
WP7 will be able to sync with most popular e-mail providers and will be deeply integrated with Microsoft’s own Windows Live IM and file share service. What’s more, you would also be able to access Xbox Live with WP7 devices.
We always wanted to know how it would integrate Zune – Microsoft’s music service. WP7 devices will be able to share and transfer music, videos and photos via Wi-Fi on a PC on which Zune software is installed. Unfortunately, Zune is not available in India yet, but we expect it to become a sort of iTunes for WP7 in terms of syncing multimedia content between a WP7 device and a PC. We ain’t sure what will happen to Windows Media Player, the de facto media sync software for current WinMo devices. We don’t see both Zune and Windows Media Player being employed to do the same task. In all likelihood, Microsoft will extend Zune to other markets, if not the entire music store then at least the software just like Apple does with iTunes – users in India cannot buy music, videos or movies.
Microsoft will also launch a Windows Phone Live companion site that will offer 25 GB of storage space to keep a back up of pictures and everything else that’s on your WP7 phone. From the same portal, users will be able to find their phone and even remotely wipe it if it gets lost.
While Microsoft still won’t tell us when WP7 will be commercially launched, it does gives us a list of 17 countries where users will be able to buy apps from the Market Place: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and United States. Yup, India is there in the list, which could be indicative that we might see the first wave of WP7 devices as they are launched later this year.
Features and availability aside, one tiny detail that really caught our attention is this excerpt from the Windows Team Blog:
This is a fresh start for Microsoft’s mobile efforts; one in which we put the end user experiences at the center of every decision we make, from architecting a new design and integrated on-phone experiences, to taking more accountability for the hardware and application development platform.
Hopefully, Microsoft would take its smartphone business more seriously unlike the past where they have done little after launching a version of their mobile OS.