Microsoft has essentially finished work on Windows Phone 7, and this new operating system has been released to the companies that will use it in smartphones. The first devices running it will be released later this year.
Windows Phone 7 will be the replacement for Windows Mobile, but it’s going to have little in common with its predecessors. It will have a completely different user interface and a focus on consumers, rather than business users.
Just about the only significant similarity between old and new is that both include Microsoft Office Mobile and support for synchronizing with Microsoft Exchange.
Terry Myerson recently wrote on the official Windows Phone Blog:
Windows Phone 7 is the most thoroughly tested mobile platform Microsoft has ever released. We had nearly ten thousand devices running automated tests daily, over a half million hours of active self-hosting use, over three and a half million hours of stress test passes, and eight and a half million hours of fully automated test passes. We’ve had thousands of independent software vendors and early adopters testing our software and giving us great feedback. We are ready.
Expect Devices from Three Companies
A very wide array of companies made Windows Mobile-based smartphones, but fewer have joined the Windows Phone 7 program: HTC, LG, and Samsung.
The U.S. wireless carrier AT&T has announced a strong committed to Microsoft’s new operating system. It’s not clear what other carriers will be offering devices. running it.