Microsoft Shows New Features and Future Direction as Momentum Builds for Windows Phone 7

Microsoft shows off Windows Phone 7's future with multitasking, Twitter integration, and IE9, all coming this year

“Microsoft today kicked off Mobile World Congress by giving people a glimpse of what the rest of the year will bring for Windows Phone 7. Among the updates are several new features, a booming app marketplace, and the integration of even more Microsoft products with the phone.
A concrete example of the company’s vision is the new strategic partnership with Nokia. “This partnership will combine the strengths of our two companies, and fuel our growth as we build the global Windows Phone ecosystem. This is a great win for us, for Nokia, and for our existing and new customers around the world,” said Andy Lees, president of Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business.
New Windows Phone Features & Apps
“…A year ago, we introduced Windows Phone 7 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We described how we are putting the entire muscle of our company behind our mobile strategy including Windows, Windows Live, Bing, Zune, Xbox LIVE, Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and our developer tools,” Lees said. “Our alliance with Nokia creates opportunities for both companies far beyond what we could achieve separately, and offers a compelling alternative to the existing choices for consumers, mobile operators and developers.”
The first goal with Windows Phone 7, Lees said, was to deliver a uniquely delightful customer experience. And the results, as provided by Windows Phone 7 users, show that the overall experience is great. “So far we’ve had a fantastic reaction from customers, with a 93 percent customer satisfaction rate and nine out of 10 customers saying they are likely to recommend [the phone] to someone else,” Lees said. “All of this contributed to Nokia choosing us. And with this partnership, we are taking another big step toward driving global scale, reach and impact.”
Microsoft announced several new Windows Phone 7 features coming in 2011, including a “dramatically enhanced” browser experience based on Internet Explorer 9; additional multitasking capabilities; support for Microsoft Office documents in the cloud; and the addition of Twitter to the People Hub. The expanded capabilities announced today include:
• Copy and paste functionality via first major update, coming in the next month
• Twitter integration directly into the People Hub in 2011
• Support for Office documents in the cloud in 2011
• Dramatically enhanced Web browser experience based on IE9 in 2011
• A new wave of multitasking applications in 2011
• Targeting significant volume of Nokia Windows Phones in 2012
Microsoft sold 2 million phone licenses in Windows Phone 7’s first two months, and the phone is now available from 60 mobile operators in 30 countries around the world, Lees said. As phone availability and sales grow, so too does the app marketplace – there are now more than 8,000 apps in the marketplace and 28,000 registered developers.
In addition, the phone will be available soon on U.S. networks such as Verizon and Sprint, he said. Also, with an expanded feature set, more capabilities, and new partnerships like the one just announced with Nokia, the Windows Phone 7 platform is positioned to scale up rapidly.
First Mile Point in the Marathon
With the bang of a starting gun firing last fall, Windows Phone 7 launched itself into the mobile race. It’s a race that Microsoft leaders are quick to point out is not a sprint, but a marathon – and one that’s just begun.
“We’re in the race – it’s not a sprint but we are certainly gaining momentum and we’re in it for the long run,” said Achim Berg, a corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business and Marketing Group. “We know we have tough competition, and this is a completely new product. Our design is different, our platform is different, our customer experience is different, and our long-term strategy for earning widespread adoption is different.”
Over the next year, the company will continue to work with third parties on phone innovation and will add new features and apps that customers want and that make using Windows Phone 7 a “delightful experience.” Microsoft also will work to engage more of the nearly 80 percent of worldwide phone users who are not using a smart phone, said JP Wollersheim, a Windows Phone 7 product manager.
A Different Kind of Phone
It was just two and a half years ago that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 team came together with a single mission: to go back to the drawing board to create a completely new Windows Phone, to rethink and smarten up the smart phone, and to create a device that successfully integrated many favorite Microsoft products into one device – Bing, Windows LIVE, Xbox and Office, among others.
“For the first time, Microsoft has actually collected all of those great products and put them on a device with a screen that’s 480×800,” said Wollersheim. “It’s always been about being different. Because we were starting fresh, from the ground up, we were able to look at what our competitors were doing, look at their issues and work through their experiences, and design something better.”
Wollersheim said Microsoft built a smarter smart phone that focuses on user experience, integrates experiences rather than launching separate apps for tasks, gives information at a glance, and “allows you to have things happen on your behalf.”
One example of how deep thinking about the mobile phone experience translated into a feature is the Windows Phone 7 camera. Each device has a camera button on the side and can instantly take a photo, even if the phone is locked, rather than the user having to miss the moment while scrambling to unlock the phone and open a camera app.
It’s just one of many thoughtful details that make the phone different, and Wollersheim said that is largely why people are so “jazzed” with their new phones.
“You don’t sell phones if people aren’t happy. That’s the leading indicator of where we’re at, and it’s predictive as to how many we’re going to eventually sell,” Wollersheim said. “We want it to sell, and we want customers to be super happy, and we want them to tell their friends and family. That’s the best recommendation you could have.”

1GHz Motorola Pro headed to Europe after all

“The business-minded droid Motorola Pro has been confirmed for Europe. That’s great news for corporate users. The device features a full-sized QWERTY keyboard in a candybar form factor – bad news for RIM and classic BlackBerries. Android 2.2 Froyo, a 3.1-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen and advanced security features are also part of the deal on the Motorola Pro, with special emphasis on password protection, remote tracking and remote wipe functionality. Remote VPN connectivity is also enabled.Among other features, this QWERTY candybar has a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash, 1GHz TI OMAP processor and 8GB of internal storage topped with a microSD card slot. There’s an Adobe Flash 10.1 capable browser as well. So it basically means the entertainment part is duly covered, along with the business side of things.Release dates are still unknown and there’s no word on price either. We’ll post new information as soon as it’s available. We also hope to spend some quality time with the Pro at the Motorola booth at the MWC 2011.” via gsmarena.com

New Samsung Wave 578 Featuring Bada 2.0, NFC, Bluetooth 3.0

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Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd. a leading mobile phone provider, today announced the Samsung Wave 578 at Mobile World Congress 2011. The new bada handset is equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity, a sleek, user-friendly design, and runs on bada, Samsung’s own smartphone platform.“With the Samsung Wave 578 handset, we will provide the latest innovation in mobile industry running on bada platform. The enhanced connectivity, design and social experiences enabled by this handset, represent Samsung’s commitment to democratizing the smart phone market and providing users around the world with access to rich experiences and content,” said JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business.

Connectivity & Speed

Samsung Wave 578 is equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) – a technology that allows users to enjoy many innovative services such as mobile payment at the shops and paying transportation fare, reading tags, getting mobile coupons, etc.

Users can enjoy the fastest connectivity available on the Samsung Wave 578. With Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, and USB 2.0, the device enables fast data rates and easy information sharing.

Sleek Design

With soft rounded edges that support an ergonomic grip and a sleek metallic body, the Samsung Wave 578 is comfortable to hold and fashionable in every social situation. The device does not compromise function for form and offers the best of both worlds with a sleek design and value-added features.

The QuickType by t9 Trace is two to three times faster than standard typing and supports more than 75 languages. It will deliver a more convenient typing experience while reducing input error. The Samsung Wave 578 is also equipped with multi-touch functionality so that users can easily zoom in and out and pinch the screen to browse and view the gallery.

Enhanced Social Experiences

A rich communication suite (RCS) supports a wide variety of social communication on the Samsung Wave 578. Users can share content while chatting on the phone or send messages to several friends at the same time. The experience on the device is further maximized through SNS (social networking service) integration that seamlessly connects contacts across various social outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, so that users can focus on the people who matter most. Push IM enables users to access messages anywhere and anytime on the Samsung Wave 578.

Samsung Apps, an integrated application store accessible from the device and online, allows Wave users to simply and easily download an abundance of applications. Featuring a wealth of games, navigation, social networking, e-book, health and lifestyle applications, Samsung Apps gives users instant access to a wide range of mobile experiences on the Samsung Wave 578 handset.

The Samsung Wave 578 will be available in May of 2011 in France and will be gradually rolled out to European countries, CIS, South East Asia, India, Middle East, and China.

LG unveils the Optimus 3D, the Optimus Black and Optimus Pad

“LG just wrapped up their MWC press conference that saw a no-surprise announcement of two of their latest smartphones – the Optimus 3D and the Optimus Black – along with the 3D-enabled Optimus Pad.
LG Optimus 3D
The front of the LG Optimus 3D houses the phone’s main feature – the world’s first 4.3-inch stereoscopic LCD screen, on which 3D content can be enjoyed without special eyeglasses. Check out some live photos of the unique 3D screen which LG are so proud of.

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LG Optimus 3D promo pics

The Optimus 3D is powered by a dual-core OMAP4 processor by Texas Instruments and uses 512MB of dual-channel memory. At the handset’s back are the dual 5MP cameras that work together to capture 3D photos and videos, which as we reported, can be directly uploaded to YouTube 3D.

3D videos are limited to 720p resolution, while regular 2D capture is in full HD.

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LG Optimus 3D from all sides

And since 3D is the main attraction here, a side-mounted hotkey will launch a special 3D UI with shortcuts to various 3D-enabled apps, such as Camera, Gallery, Apps&Games, YouTube 3D and the 3D guide.

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LG Optimus 3D camera interface • The Optius 3d has three-dimensional UIs


The LG Optimus Black

The Optimus Black was announced a month ago back at CES. At the MWC, LG tried to help it out of the shadow of its 3D sibling. Interestingly enough, the Optimus Black will be available in white, just like the Samsung Nexus S.


LG Optimus Black official photos

The 4.0″ WVGA IPS LCD NOVA display of the LG Optimus Black is touted as the brightest to have on a phone at 700 nits of brightness. Powered by a 1Ghz OMAP processor, the Black runs the latest version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

The LG Optimus Pad

The LG Optimus Pad was made official as the World’s first tablet with 3D video playback. It’s the global version of the US-bound G-Slate. This new tablet has a 8.9″ 16:9 widescreen of WXGA (1280×768) resolution. It runs the new Android 3.0 Honeycomb on a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2.


LG Optimus Pad official photos

The LG Optimus Pad has two cameras at the back for 3D video capture – though we can’t confirm the actual resolution at this stage. We guess 1080p video playback will only be enabled over the phone’s HDMI port, much like the G-Slate.

In an attempt to set its tablet apart, LG are breaking away from 7 and 10-inch tablet screens. The Optimus Pad features a “unique” display of 8.9 inches, which LG claim is more comfortable in single-handed use.” via gsmarena.com