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First look at Windows Phone 7

In the Internet one can find not only official development tools for the recently announced Windows Phone OS 7 but the hacked firmware image making it possible to get acquainted with the basic functions. It should be mentioned that at the moment Microsoft is undertaking much effort to improve the OS functionality adding it with a greater number of new features while the basic principles remain the same. Therefore, first look at the OS is useful practically-wise for the understanding of what we are to get at the end of the year.

Menu organization principle

Standby screen is occupied by shortcuts to main applications, in the right corner you can see an arrow, clicking on that brings you to the list of the device functions. Main screen shortcuts are made interactive, for example, should there be a number events for the day in a calendar, the shortcut displays the latest or the most relevant one. The user is free to shuffle the shortcuts to his liking as well as to add new ones, such as a contact for instance. But on that the screen setting capabilities are over.

The main menu can boast no wall-papers, which is offset by an ability to set your picture in any sub-menu. In standby mode it will be possible to install the screen saver that will be your screen saver proper which compensates for the absence of the layer when using the main screen. This organization seems quite logic as the saver is important and needed only when you're not working with the menu.

In the submenu of separate functions and apps you can see the lists of functions that are brought up by using corresponding icons. To edit settings you should just press the icon with three dots. The interface gives the impression of somewhat light, unobtrusive and well-arranged.


The way the phone book is organized resembles that of the majority of modern handsets, you are at liberty to enter the first name and second name, specify several phone numbers with the ability to choose the type, enter several e-mail addresses, add other fields, personalize the contact with a ring tone or assign a call picture. Unusual feature is the ability to combine two contacts, for example, choose Eldar Murtazin and join it to the contact Lescha Mironov. In this case viewing the contact you will see the details for both. There is a little practical sense in the feature, unless you like to double contacts, or manage your personal phone book along with the corporate one. At that you do not want personal contacts to be stored on the corporate server. Actually, on that specific features are over. We failed to find ways of contacts archive creation but we hope that they will appear. Any contact can be drawn on the screen in standby mode.

Quick search for contacts is made by moving of the letters from the list on the screen or by typing letters or digits. Phone searches for the letters or digits in names and numbers.


Messages are presented in the chat form, contact's name can be chosen from the phone book or entered manually. The app is extremely unsophisticated, there is nothing special about it. You are free to add the message with contacts, pictures and so on, which changes the message type to the MMS. Predictive text input allows choosing the words when you are typing on the on-screen keyboard.


The Windows Phone search makes use of Bingo. When you first launch the device you are asked whether it is allowed using your coordinates for a better contextual search bound with places. Search can be carried out either via text typing or voice commands.


Here you can find a usual calendar displaying all daily, weekly or monthly events. You can highlight events in the calendar with various colors. You are free to create a number of calendars at once. When creating events you can specify the participants, both obligatory and desirable. With such a minimum of functions offered there is no possibility of customizing anything else.


Mobile version of Internet Explorer has nothing outstanding to boast. Pages are loaded quickly, you are at liberty to watch them in any orientation, add bookmarks, open up to 6 pages. Double click on the page magnifies it while the content is adjusted to the screen size. To go back to the previous page use menu. To save the picture you should just click on it a bit longer, should you do the same action with the link it will be opened in a new window. The browser cannot be referred to as impressive one, everything is quite simple without any extra features.


There are no games in the emulator up to date, you can learn, however, how to purchase them in Marketplace, view the price, description, snapshots and comments. In one word everything is pretty simple.


It is impossible to assess maps using the emulator.


Player is a twin to that of the Zune. There is a podcasts cover, lists of songs and so on available. The level of integration with music shop is a maximum one. Radio interface is simple, but do you need something else? There is a built-in capability of synchronizing the music via WiFi.

Mobile office

The office is presented by OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint using which you are free to edit files or just view them.


The pictures are displayed as miniatures that can be zoomed by double-clicking on them. You are free to edit photos and add them to Favorites as well as to enjoy built-in slide-show feature.


As for the new features we can mention an opportunity to create archives on a server remote from Microsoft.

The phone has a built-in ability to search the device in case it has been lost, as well as the capability of remote data deletion.

I think it doesn’t make sense to describe in detail other applications, such as an alarm clock or Bluetooth as everything is standard there.

Brief conclusions

The system makes the impression of somewhat incomplete, if being not in the initial stage of development it is clearly not in the alpha version, not to mention the beta one. Till the end of 2010 the developers have still enough time to make a lot of improvements in the OS. While what we see now, does not make any impression. Everything is too ascetic, too easy and too familiar. Perhaps this is caused by emulator’s shortcoming. But judging by what was shown at the Mobile World Congress that is the current state of affairs. Therefore it would be a mistake to expect the Windows Phone to make a lasting impression at the time it will appear. This is a return to the market that starts from the very beginning, i.e., from scratch. And it must be understood. New Windows Phone 7 does not have anything to do with Windows Mobile. Should we compare the capabilities of the two OS directly the Windows Mobile is greatly superior functionality-wise but not in terms of interface. I believe that those strategic decisions that have been laid in Windows Phone 7 would be winning, but with time. Initially the system will disappoint. And what an impression it made on you? Let's discuss this in the forum.

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
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Translated by Vera Paderina (oleg.kononosov@mobile-review.com)

Published — 07 April 2010

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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