Pre-release hands-on look at WP7

I try to avoid straight-up promotion for my employer on my blog too often (if you didn’t know, it’s that scrappy West-Coast-based startup Microsoft). I like sharing R&D projects, but for consumer products I leave that stuff to others or third-parties.

But with the Apple iPhone 4 controversy going on, and Google’s Droid platform chugging away, frankly I was surprised to see a long story on übergeek tech blog Engadget today about our Windows Phone 7, with a great video of a hands-on demo:

I’m sharing it because I eagerly await the launch for my own use. The review itself is worth a read – it has in-depth looks at the UI and UX, social-networking aspects, music integration (full-on Zune experience), app marketplace, search, maps, innovative photos, wireless cloud syncing, high-def video, elegant online/offline email innovation, Office integration, Xbox Live, and other facets. Some features are good, some missing, some are awesome. Launch coming this fall…

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks Lewis. I look forward to testing this out. I’ve been playing with developer kits for iPhone and Android and am really getting frustrated with how hard it is to develop for both, but especially Apple. I’m just a hobbyist developer but it really should be easier than it is, I think.

    I wonder how this phone will be? I wonder if there will be a plug in for MS Visual Studio, for example? If so it could soon have a thriving developer community. And of course the key selling point that others will not have might be the secure connectivity to the enterprise.

    One thing I really need in my personal device is a keyboard, blackberry style.


    • Hi Bob, thanks for the comment – interesting observations on the developer angle, I’ve heard similar about developing for iPhone but then again (up until the recent PR disaster over reception/hardware), the buzz has been about developing for the iPhone just because of momentum. Anyway, you CAN find out for yourself what’s it’s like to develop for the WP7, go to and download the free developer tools – including Expression Blend for cool design, and of course Visual Studio at your request! 🙂

      Also you might enjoy this video,, with the WP7 PM Jon Belfiore, as he discusses developing for the phone and the “hundreds of thousands” of developer-tool downloads already, with the concomitant exciting apps being developed.

      By the way – I agree with you about the value of a physical keyboard (thumbboard), I much prefer one. One of the values of having a more open platform (than the iPhone, for example) is that we will have many vendors and many handsets/form-factors using WP7, not just a Single Approved Device. So there will very likely be one that fits your preferences… Choice is good.

      Thanks Bob – I look forward to hearing your comments after you’ve played around with the platform….


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