The Mobile World Conference 2010 (MWC) is getting underway in Barcelona this week, but media attention has also focused on the latest announcement from Microsoft pertaining to the arrival of its brand new mobile operating system.
Windows Mobile 6.5 is to be put out to pasture at some point in 2010, to be replaced by a brand new platform called Windows Phone 7 Series. Perhaps Microsoft is attempting to ditch the negative associations with the older Windows Mobile brand by tweaking the name a little.
Windows Phone 7 Series has been in development for what seems like an age, although according to Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer this is entirely consistent with the efforts his team have been going to in order to create something that can compete with Android and the iPhone OS.
The result is a platform that relies on big screens, touch sensitive interfaces, multitouch support and business functionality. High resolution displays supporting 800×480 will be the minimum requirement for Windows Phone 7 Series-based smartphones and resistive touchscreen technology will not apply, as capacitive interfaces are to be standard of future mobiles running this platform.
Although productivity and power will be the calling cards of Microsoft’s next mobile software, compatibility with Xbox Live has also been confirmed, allowing keen gamers to unify their profiles across PC, home consoles and mobile phones.
Cloud computing is being harnessed to offer live widgets on a large homescreen, making the fiddly menus a thing of the past. Windows Phone 7 Series is still very much in development and the finished product, it is hoped, will be a strong competitor in this growing market.