The annual Mobile World Congress tradeshow kicked off in Barcelona today, and the first day had a focus on operating systems, whether its the latest version of Windows Mobile or new ones from Nokia/Intel and Samsung.
Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Is Official
The pivotal event of the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona was Microsoft`s launch of the new mobile operating system (not only for mobile phones, but for tablets, navigation devices and similar gadgets), called Windows Phone 7 Series.
This new platform entirely differs from the Windows Mobile operating system, even though it is its descendant. It also represents a whole new experience for users, much different to the application-oriented edition offered by Android OS, iPhone OS, BlackBerry OS, and others.
Windows Phone 7 Series was presented by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who promised that the first device to use this platform would be announced next month and be released for sale in tome for the end-of-year holiday shopping season.
Basic features of the new media edition were demonstrated on a prototype, which looked like the long-awaited ZunePhone at first glance. From a user’s point of view, applications are not underlined in the foreground, but are something we might refer to as ‘events’ which will be initiated when devices using this operating system are used — Microsoft calls them hubs.
Using the so-called People hub, users can contact their friends and acquaintances, send text messages and e-mails or interact on Facebook; the Music + Video hub features a multimedia playback option (this hub is a hi-fi replica of the Zune user interface); the Office hub includes parts of the Microsoft Office package adjusted for mobile phones, while the Games hub could even include titles being offered for the Xbox console and online gaming services.
This new platform seems like a rather updated Zune, with a collection of features that are intertwined and integrated, making it is easy to match someone`s Facebook or Twitter account with their telephone number, photographs or e-mails they had sent.
When asked whether Windows Phone Series 7 would support Adobe Flash, Ballmer replied that he had ‘absolutely nothing against it’, adding that Flash was welcome.
- For additional coverage, read: Windows Phone 7 Officially Unveiled, Merges Zune and Phone
Nokia Unveils MeeGo
The Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia held its own press conference with Intel a few hours prior to Microsoft’s, presenting its match to the Windows Phone platform, called MeeGo.
This merges Nokia`s Maemo Linux-based operating system with Intel`s Moblin platform, also constructed on Linux. This new OS is intended for smartphones, netbooks, and tablet computers.
Unlike Microsoft, Nokia did not demonstrate MeeGo OS live, or even show off any screenshots. Nor did it announce when devices using it might be launched, aside from some point in the second half of this year.
The bada OS Will Debut in the Samsung Wave
Samsung presented its mobile bada platform in greater detail on Sunday night.
The bada OS has some similarities to the iPhone OS (animated application access, matrix arrangement of the main icons, black background etc.), while from a technological angle it features multitasking, openness and tight integrity with many Internet services, much more reminiscent of the Google Android OS. Clearly Samsung is trying to take the best from both competitors.
Of course, Bada features its own app-store, simply called Samsung Apps.
The first smartphone running this operating system will be the Samsung Wave, which will have a 3.3-inch, WVGA, Super AM-OLED display.
- For additional coverage, read: Samsung Wave Will Sport a Super AM-OLED Display and the New bada OS
Competition Is Heating Up
With the announcement of a new version of Windows Mobile, and the upcoming releases of the MeeGo OS and bada OS –, along with numerous announced premieres of Android OS phones — it is clear to see that this year`s MWC will be marked by the struggle for conquering the throne of smartphone operating systems market.