So, aside from that Windows Phone 7 Series keynote video, we thought you might want a condensed version that will allow you to just take a look at what all this Windows Phone 7 fuss is all about. Microsoft took the liberty of putting together this much shorter demo video to explain. Here you can get a look at all of the design elements and decisions that have gone into Windows Phone 7, which fundamentally set it apart from other mobile operating systems on the market. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Every Windows Phone 7 device will have three physical buttons on the front: Start, Search, and Back.
- There’s a focus on productivity, simplicity, music, and gaming. Both Xbox Live and Zune are deeply integrated into Windows Phone 7.
- People hub: Pulls in live data feeds, bringing you social networking status updates and photos from services like Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live.
- Pictures hub: Brings together picture and video assets from your phone, web, and PC, allowing you to view your entire collection.
- Games hub: Check out your Xbox Live messages, achievements, avatar, and even play some games. Achievements can be earned on the phone.
- Office hub: Access to Microsoft Office suite, including OneNote and SharePoint Workspace. Also includes new version of Outlook Mobile for email.
This is definitely the biggest step that Microsoft has taken in the mobile phone space, and they do it over three years after Apple announced the original iPhone. The competition is heating up, and we are super-excited about it.
The big news today is the announcements of Windows Phone 7 Series over at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and Microsoft has released video of the announcement and reveal of their new mobile OS. Let it be said right now, Microsoft has essentially killed what we all know as Windows Mobile, and has replaced it with what may, in fact, be the slickest interface we’ve seen on a mobile phone. They borrowed heavily from the Zune HD navigation scheme, but made it highly polished and optimized for a device that is constantly connected to a cellular data connection. Also, it looks like that whole Xbox Live Anywhere demo that we saw at E3 a few years ago is finally coming to fruition, as Windows Phone 7 Series includes Xbox Live gaming built right in. Hit the play button on the videoafter the jump for a look at everything, but color us impressed.
Hey, Apple, the ball is in your court.
You can expect to find Windows Phone 7 Series devices in stores this holiday season.
2009 is just about over, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, but Microsoft gets the top two spots with our Xbox 360 dashboard tour, and the Zune HD hands-on preview. Also getting an honorable mention is the Motorola DROID and Elgato Turbo.264 transcoding device.
If you’ve been wanting to use your Zune HD to get your Twitter on, today is your day. Twitter for Zune HD is a free app, now available in the Zune Marketplace, that lets you interact with your Twitter peoples. You can read Tweets, update your status, and all that good stuff. If you don’t see it, give it a little bit, it was just deployed, which means it may take a few before it shows up.
Now, can we get some Zune HD Facebook love?
We must say, one device we were excited about this year was the Zune HD, and as evidenced in our Zune HD review, Microsoft came through with a superb device with a fantastic service behind it to match. In fact, we’ve said it many time that, in our opinion, for someone that truly loves music, Zune is the best deal around. Coupled with the $15 per month Zune Pass (which isn’t a requirement,) you get a top-notch portable media player with an OLED screen, HD Radio, and web browser with the advantage of being able to listen to pretty much any song you can think of at a moments notice.
The Zune HD retails for $289 for the 32GB model, and $219 for the 16GB model - however, Amazon’s got a great sale on the Zune HD that’ll put the 32GB model into your hands for $269 ($21 off,) while the 16GB model will run you $189 ($30 off.)
Read More | Zune on Amazon
If you’re one who wants to get some good Black Friday 2009 deals, but would rather do your shopping at home, from the comforts of your PJs and the Internet, you’ll want to check out the Dell Black Friday 2009 sale. We’ve listed everything that Dell has on sale come the day after Thanksgiving from their Black Friday 2009 ad, so give it a look, and see if there’s anything work your time.
For those of you who weren’t able to get into the Preview Program, you can now rest assured that the latest Xbox 360 features, including Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, and Zune Marketplace with instant on 1080p streaming, will be arriving on all Xbox 360 consoles on November 17th. Yup, that’s just five days away, which isn’t that bad at all. To celebrate the launch of the new dashboard, all Xbox Live Gold features will be available to Xbox Live Silver members from November 20-23, allowing Silver members to sample Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, and online multiplayer. Oh, what’s that? You didn’t know that only Xbox Live Gold members were able to use the new social networking aspects of the dashboard? Yeah, major fail, we agree.
We previewed the dashboard in a recent episode of Bleeding Edge TV, which you can check out at the top.
Following up on the promise of more free games for the Zune HD, Microsoft has released six new titles that are now available for your downloading pleasure. We’ve got a blurb on each game here, but we’ve gotta just say, after playing with PGR Ferrari Edition, we are thankful for that Tegra processor that the Zune HD is packing. Sure, it’s no App Store equivalent, but hey, it’s free content that is actually more fun than a flashlight or tip calculator:
- Audiosurf Tilt: Audiosurf creates a rollercoaster ride from any song. Choose any song from your music collection and watch Audiosurf turn it into a unique roller coaster track for you to ride. The song you choose determines the shape, the speed, and the mood of each track. Tilt your Zune like a steering wheel to collect colored blocks and avoid speedbumps. Unlock more than 30 designs, each with its own special theme and color palette.
- Checkers: Enjoy the classic game of Checkers in a beautiful outdoor park setting. Play against the computer or against a friend.
- Lucky Lanes Bowling: Bowl in different game modes: exhibition, blackjack, golf. Play in five different bowling alleys with unique themes, all with the swipe of a finger. Choose from twenty different bowlers and twenty two different ball styles. You can play against the computer or play with up to four friends.
- Piano: Play your own tune, or play along with your favorite music on this electronic piano.
- Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition: Tear through the streets of London, Tokyo, and New York in the Ferrari of your choice using multi touch controls and the built in accelerometer.
- Vans Sk8: Pool Service: From the Admiral to the old abandoned rec center pool, Bucky Lasek and Omar Hassan know a good bowl to skate. Hit the pools and put these Vans skaters to the test with all the tricks in their bag and achieve hero status once you unlock their pro model skateboards.
We just got word from our friends at Xbox LIVE that we’ll be getting the new Fall 2009 Dashboard Update on Monday, which means we’ll be bringing you a preview and walkthrough of all the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard features, including Twitter, Facebook, Zune instant-on 1080p movies, Last.fm, and more. For a look at everything we’ll be bringing you on Monday, hit the jump. Now go enjoy your weekend!
We’ve had the new Zune HD in our hands for a few weeks, and now that we’ve had the opportunity to thoroughly get to know it at an intimate level, we figured it was time to share - but first things first. We’ve gotta say it. Microsoft has been consistently wowing us over the last few months. Say what you will about Windows 7, Bing, et al, but at the end of the day, they are solid offerings that stack of well against their competitors. Then of course, there’s the Xbox 360, which just received a dashboard overhaul, making it even more useful and feature-rich, and there is even more to come this fall. For us to even be thinking about Microsoft in this way is a huge departure from even just one year ago.
So, all that said, where does the Zune HD fit into all this? Well, as we’ve posted previously, the thing has an OLED 16x9 display, and packs in the NVIDIA Tegra processor. Those two pieces of news has us super-excited to see if this thing would live up to the hype. Does it? Go grab a drink and get comfortable, because we are going to delve right in.
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