Nice Features, but Potential Buyers Face Long Wait

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-02-16 Print this article Print

5. The Interface Is Unique

It's hard to fully appreciate the interface on a Windows Phone 7 Series without actually seeing it. Unlike the iPhone or Android-based devices, Microsoft's software doesn't stick to grids that users can click on to work their way around the software. Instead, the interface mimics the Zune HD's. Users can slide their fingers around the screen to view different options. Text is easily readable. And perhaps most importantly, it's totally unique to anything currently offered on the market. Even better, the phone supports multitouch, so users can intuitively control the interface.

6. Browsing Won't Be So Hot

Although Microsoft drastically improved its mobile browsing software, it still runs Internet Explorer. That means it won't be as fast as Apple's mobile Safari and security concerns will play a role in using the device. That said, the software boasts several common mobile-browser features, including pinning sites to the device's home screen. But it's still Internet Explorer. That might hurt it.

7. It Targets the

The iPhone is designed specifically for consumers. The BlackBerry is designed with enterprise users in mind. Windows Phone 7 Series targets both markets effectively. That should make enterprise users give a sigh of relief. Rather than forget about the corporate world, Microsoft has ensured that its phones will play a major role in that space. The device features Office built-in, so users can compose and edit documents from their mobile devices. The software also features SharePoint Workspace, which should make it ideal for those companies that collaborate in the workplace. Simply put, Windows Phone 7 Series devices might turn out to be the most corporate-friendly products on the market.

8. Partners Galore

Microsoft didn't waste any time telling those in attendance on Monday that it has already signed on several vendors that will be installing Windows Phone 7 Series on their devices. That list includes Dell, Garmin, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung and others. Even better, those devices will be available on all major carriers, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile. That's important. The iPhone is currently only available to AT&T customers. By making its software available to multiple vendors and to see those products for sale at every major carrier, it could help Microsoft regain lost mobile market share.

9. Apps, Music and Movies

One of the main issues with every iPhone competitor is the lack of an efficient means of adding multimedia content to the device. Android-based devices come closest. But with Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft's software will match Apple's iPhone. According to the company, the software will accommodate music and video. And thanks to the integration of a new application marketplace, users will be able to download mobile apps and games directly on their device. Finally, Apple's iPhone has a competitor when it comes to entertainment.

10. The Long Wait

As exciting as Windows Phone 7 Series devices might be, they won't be coming out anytime soon. According to Microsoft, Windows Phone 7 Series phones won't be available until the holiday season later this year. Unfortunately, that gives Microsoft's competitors almost a full year to capitalize on those delays. It also ensures that Microsoft won't be able to stymie some of Apple's growth going forward.

Regardless, Microsoft has developed a software platform that people are actually getting excited about. So although it's not ideal that Windows Phone 7 Series phones won't hit store shelves anytime soon, it's good that people are looking forward to their release. That's the first time we can say that about a Microsoft mobile platform in a long time.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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