Microsoft has released Windows Phone 7 smart-phone operating system (OS) in a bid to provide a formidable challenge to other smartphone operating systems from companies such as Nokia, Google, Apple and Research in Motion. According to Microsoft, its new smart-phone OS has been rebuilt from bottom up and should appeal to users because it is more user-friendly. In addition, the operating system has been built around ‘hubs’ that aggregate content (such as music and photos) together, which are then synchronised with storage services on the Web and the user’s personal computer. One noticeable absentee however, is the absence of the menu button functionality which has been removed from the new system to make it easier for users to perform simple day-to-day tasks while operating a Windows Phone 7-based smart-phone.
Furthermore, Microsoft appears to have addressed some of the reasons given for its previous failure in the industry which include, the operating system’s limited functionality, poor user interface and lack of applications to customise handsets. Already, key applications such as Facebook, Twitter, eBay and railway timetables have been fast-tracked to be ready for lauch with more applications in the pipeline. Consumers can expect nearly half of all apps on sale to be in relation to gaming although this may change as regular software updates such as the cut and paste functionality become available from early 2011.
The new Windows Phone 7 OS, is due to be launched on 21 October 2010 in the UK and early November 2010 in America. It will be available on nine phones, and with 60 operators in 30 countries.
Can Microsoft gain more ground in a smartphone market that is still dominated by Nokia’s Symbian operating system?