( By Microsoft News Center ) REDMOND, Wash. - Oct. 11, 2010 - The goal
for Microsoft's latest smartphone is an ambitious one: to deliver a phone that truly integrates the
things people really want to do, puts those things right in front of them, and either lets them get
finished quickly or immerses them in the experience they were seeking.
"When you first get the phone, the stuff that's more obvious makes you smile," says Andy Lees,
Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business president. On the phone's Start screen, "live tiles"
show users real-time content, such as social media updates and contacts. "The features sort of
scream out at you," says Lees. "But the other thing that is even deeper for me is the elegance of
the experience, which you only appreciate if you've used the phone for some time."
The result is Windows Phone 7, which will make its debut in some European markets on Oct. 21 and
in time for the holidays in the U.S. The phone uses an elegant operating system that is very
different from the current trend toward app-focused phones. Instead it provides active and
configurable interface elements called tiles that update on the fly with real information, allowing
users to place the tiles that interest them most where they want on their Start screen. Facebook
photos, music and contacts are pulled into the phone and distributed appropriately across Hubs. It
also brings together many of Microsoft's popular offerings from other platforms, including Xbox,
Zune, Office and Bing.
The new phone is an important step for Microsoft in three ways. To begin, it is a completely
fresh start for Microsoft in smartphones. Second, it represents a new approach from Microsoft
toward integrating products and services from across the company into the phone to create a richer
experience and greater productivity. Hence the presence of Office, Zune and Xbox LIVE and their
integration within the Hub model. And finally, the new phone approach is critical to Microsoft's
efforts to make new gains in the huge smartphone market, which despite the success of the iPhone
and Android is still relatively untapped globally.