Windows Mobile OS 7 has officially been announced.Â With it comes aÂ number of surprises. Â First of all, it is a completely new Windows OS.Â It looks, moves, and functions nothing like the previous Windows Mobile OS.Â It is made purely for smartphone/touch screen usabilty in mind, not just as a featured add on.Â However, it gets better.Â The graphical user interface (GUI) is also something new.Â It goes in the direct opposite direction of its competitors and previous iterations, eliminating the fancy graphical designs, and leaning more on a simple block-type look instead.
Then there is the functionality.Â Windows Mobile OS 7 is all about connectivity.Â Through the OS, not only will users be able to access the mobile’s marketplace for downloads such as apps and updates, but they will also be able to access Zune’s marketplace, and Xbox Live’s, immediately giving owners of the OS 7 phones access to thousands of options for media such as music, videos, and videogames in addition to traditional mobile apps.
Yet that is not all.Â The other feature OS 7 offers is its owners the ability to play games cross platfrom over their mobile device.Â For example, thanks to XBox Live’s PC and XBox integration, a group of users could play a multiplayer game that is available on all 3 platforms against each other in real time!
The OS will not officially be released over devices until the fall of 2010/
Writing about this OS for me was like writing about Project Natal– I cannot even put it in words how amped I am about this.Â Like many, I did not expect this from Microsoft, nothing like this.Â Â For the fact that Natal and this OS are coming from the same company, Microsoft, it definitely says something about the direction Steve Ballmer and his team are taking it.Â From a consumer standpoint, Microsoft is not known for innovation, just domination.Â You want innovation, you look towards Apple or Google.Â Yet then there is the very impressive Bingâ€¦then Natal which you have to pay notice toâ€¦.then this– and this, like Natal is a huge deal.Â Suddenly Microsoft is back in the race as an innovator for consumer products and a serious competitor to Apple and Google.Â In terms of the OS– cross platform multiplayer abilities; the combining of 3 major market places. I cannot describeÂ how smart that is.Â Seriously, why recreate the wheel with a new marketplace when you already have two very functional and successful ones?Â In addition, can you imagine being able to play some new mobile iteration of Halo via multiplayer, while playing against someone on their Xbox system and another on their PC at the same time?Â That is what they are building to with this!Â I think what impresses me most is that Microsoft was hinting towards this form of convergence for years (remember the Games for Windows Live campaign), and this nifty OS brings it around full circle.Â Now the main question will be of course– how easy will it be to use?Â So much functionality, diverse marketing systems, and unique interface does raise a few questions in the midst of the praise.Â How will Microsoft limit, and (if possible) eliminate the potential for its users to not get lost in the midst of all of its options?Â In addition, how will it run?Â Will the amount of functionality/features potentially cause problems on the mobile devices running them due to what will be required?Â Who knows, and at this moment, it is the least of my concerns. I am just happy to see Microsoft stepping up and anticipate their next major announcement (*ahem* bring back the Courier).
The Overall Meal
The million dollar question:Â how user friendly do you think it will be?
Please place your response below.
Let the convos begin!