Feeds

Phone 7: Another Vista or another XP?

We scratch beneath the surface and find a bit of both

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Review We've been playing with a Windows Phone 7 device for a week or so now, and have been surprisingly impressed with the detail, though sadly disappointed with the bigger picture.

Microsoft has put a lot into Windows Phone 7, and plans to spend a fortune developing it, but while the interface and functionality has a host of beautiful touches - from the dots that fly around the place showing activity, to the elegant animations bringing a minimalist interface to life - the whole fails to satisfy entirely and one can't help feeling there's still a lot of work to be done.

Microsoft WinPho 7

Microsoft has spent a great deal of time making sure its baby gets everyone's attention; reviewers were required to attend a half-day briefing to ensure they understood the motivation behind every nuance of the interface. Just in case they dozed off, MS helpfully provided a 107-page reviewers' guide. One can hardly fault a company for providing dedicated support, but it's indicative of how important it is to Redmond that Windows Mobile 7 is loved by all.

And there's a lot to love, with applications heavily integrated and tied (or locked) to cloud services from Microsoft and its partners. But before we get into the interface and what's behind it, we'll start with the hardware, which is mandated on every Windows Phone 7 device.

The Hardware

Every Windows Phone 7 must have three buttons on the front, providing Back, Search and Start (which means Home, but Microsoft insists on calling it "Start"). Back and Search are context-sensitive, but Start always takes you back to the tiled home screen.

On the side are a couple of volume keys and a camera button as well as a power button. The latter two are dual-function: tapping on power button either locks or wakes up the phone, half pressure on the camera button starts the camera focusing, while pressing fully takes a snap.

Microsoft WinPho 7

Microsoft makes much play of the camera button; every phone will have at least five megapixels and a flash, and pressing the hardware button at at any point causes the camera to jump into life regardless of what else is going on - even if the phone has been PIN locked, though you'll have to unlock it before you can save the photograph.

Manufacturers are allowed to add a keyboard, but that's about all the innovation that's permitted. No additional buttons, and no removable memory either - Microsoft reckons it complicates things - so any differentiation is going to have to be in software, and not a lot is allowed even there.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Next page: Step into my world

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.