Separately, Microsoft also started rolling out the first security update for Windows Phone 7, which fixes nine fradulent third-party digital certificates.
Like other Windows Phone 7 users, those with an HTC Surround will receive two updates, the first of which will be for a minor update first rolled out in February. Once that's updated, users can move on to the March update, which includes copy and paste, improved Marketplace search, and faster app launching.
Windows Phones check for updates every three days, so it might not appear right away. If you don't want to wait, you can check for it manually via the Zune software on the PC. Just plug the phone in via USB and click "update now." Once the February update is installed, you will have to unplug the phone and plug it back in to receive the March "cut and paste" update. Microsoft has a how-to guide on its Web site.
Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, Windows Phone 7, is now for sale throughout the US. How do these new devices fare? Should you throw your iPhone or Blackberry out of the window for a brand new Windows Phone? Or is this just another device for the history books? Well, we've given you our Windows Phone 7 review (as well as a review of the HTC Surround!), but if you wanted a second opinion, here's a list of reviews to help make up your mind:
- Engadget has a very in-depth review, going point by point over every feature of the phone, along with pictures and commentaries. They refer to their initial preview, saying that "it finally has the fit and finish of a fully realized product" and "there's a lot to like or even love in WP7". At the end of their review are also links to more reviews on the individual Windows Phone devices.
- Gizmodo follows in with another slightly less extensive review, in which they conclude with their stamp of approval.
- The New York Times has a fairly short review that asks several questions such as "will these battle plans help catapult Microsoft’s latest smartphone attempt into a relevant standing in this important space" and concludes by saying that "so far the new AT&T phones seems to have everything going for them".
- Apart from the written reviews, what I typically prefer are video reviews such as this one from MobileTechReview in which they go over every feature in this very in-depth 27 mins 2-parts review. They also have videos about the individual devices.
We'd love to hear from anyone who's decided to pick up a Windows Phone 7 device - what do you think?
Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, is now available to all in the US. The company's primary partner is AT&T, and they have the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround (see our HTC Surround review and photo gallery) for $199 with a 2 years contract, with the LG Quantum launching in a few days. The phones are also available without a contract for $499. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has the HTC HD7 for $199, with the Dell Venue coming in later this year. Microsoft has stated that they will put $400 million towards advertising Windows Phone 7 as they hope to compete with the iPhone and Android phones this holiday season. Gartner predicts the company's share of the mobile space will climb above 5% by next year.
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We performed our Windows Phone 7 review while using an HTC Surround smartphone from AT&T. Now that we've got the overarching review of Microsoft's big comeback in the mobile operating system world out of the way, we wanted to focus on the HTC surround itself. It's an interesting one, as AT&T is going to launch with three Windows Phone 7 devices come November 8th. The Samsung Focus has that Super AMOLED display and is nice and thin, and the LG Quantum has a slider QWERTY keyboard, which makes it thicker. The HTC Surround is also a thicker slider, but rather than a keyboard, it packs in a pair of Dolby Mobile and SRS Wow "virtual surround" speakers with a kickstand. This is obviously aimed at the Windows Phone 7 customer who plans to use their device as an entertainment device for music and video, and its got 16GB of internal memory to hold that stuff. Is it worth your attention? Keep on reading for our verdict!
As we mentioned in our Windows Phone 7 review, Microsoft has given Mac users a way to sync their phones and Zune devices with their computers. Windows Phone 7 devices have no Zune client to sync with a Mac, which would have left Mac owners out in the cold. However, Microsoft is releasing the Windows Phone 7 Connector software for Mac, allowing Mac users to sync content from iTunes, iPhoto, and other areas of their Mac, directly to their Windows Phone 7 and Zune handhelds. Hey...it's better than nothing. We give you a look at how it all works in this episode.
When Apple announced the iPhone three years ago, the entire mobile industry started to play catch-up to what Apple was doing. It took a while, but slowly companies like Google, RIM, and Palm eventually released smartphone operating systems like webOS and Android that aimed to compete. However, not much was heard from Microsoft. Once heralded as a major player in the smartphone business with Windows Mobile, Microsoft took a hell of a long time to come up with anything that could compete against iOS, Android, webOS, and really anything else out there. Then, finally, they announced Windows Phone 7 Series, and smartly dropped the "Series" part when just about everyone made fun of them for coming up with a name that was more convoluted than necessary.
Microsoft wanted to tell the world that they were serious about competing, even going so far as to hold a funeral for the iPhone and BlackBerry. A bold (and ridiculous) statement for sure, but now Windows Phone 7 has arrived, launching tomorrow over in Europe, and arriving in the USA on November 8th. Has Microsoft actually learned anything by sitting back and observing the smartphone wars over the past few years, sitting on the sidelines while taking notes? We've been playing with Windows Phone 7 non-stop for a while now, and we're sharing our answers with you here in our Windows Phone 7 review.
Windows Phone 7 launches on November 8 here in the US, and in just three days over in Europe. I got a chance to sit in (okay, I kinda took it over) on Windows Phone Radio a couple days ago to talk to Brian Seitz and Matt Akers about what we can all expect from the launch, from the software, and from the hardware devices that we will see launching. We chat about Zune, Xbox Live on the devices, and also what it took to bring a bunch of Microsoft divisions together to collaborate on this operating system. It's all good stuff, and if you're interested in WIndows Phone 7 or mobile devices in general, give it a listen.
I'm gonna try and make semi-regular appearances on the show, so if there are any questions you have, feel free to send them my way!
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