Mobilizing Windows 7
Here is exciting news to owners and fans of smart phones powered by the mobile version of Microsoft Windows. There will be a major upgrade of the operating system to Windows 7. The mobile edition of the operating system will be called Windows Phone 7 Series and will be soon available at the start of the holiday season of 2010.
Gone is the familiar start menu where most of the access to software takes place. Instead, what the user sees in the display screen is an optimized user interface that utilizes clean and visually appealing tiles representing the most favorite or the most used software. Tiles not only represent software and data that reside inside the phone’s memory, they may be used as live shortcuts to websites such as Facebook or Twitter. The live links to the websites work in such a way that when any of your friends updates their status, the tiles set up to represent these websites get updated too. While this is could be a very obvious step forward, people who are used to static displays will find this new feature unsettling at first but way cooler, nonetheless.
Because Windows 7 for the mobile device only works with touch screen interfaces, one is able to tap and drag these tiles anywhere. Gestures like flicking a finger, tapping and gliding across the screen all serve as valid inputs. An accurate preview of how Windows Phone 7 Series looks like is the user interface of the Zune HD media player. In fact, the development of the new operating system involves the close cooperation of the programmers of Zune and Windows 7. Users will experience smooth animations and clean fonts in Windows 7 similar to that of Zune’s.
Microsoft uses the metaphor of the hub in grouping applications that run in Windows 7 phones. For one, there is the People Hub, which is where all your contacts are found. If your friends have updates on their online status, such will be reflected on the People Hub.
For organizing pictures both stored in the phone’s memory and found online on sites like Flicker, the Pictures Hub is where you see them. Updates to picture collections of your friends online are seamlessly integrated into the phone. It is also in this hub where you manage the sharing of your pictures to others that belong in your social networks.
For daily office work, Windows 7 has the Office Hub for syncing important files between a computer and the phone. For those working on the go, Windows 7 have applications like OneNote for making notes. Those who have to make a presentation on site may opt to use Documents and Sharepoint. Of course, Outlook Mail is still there to maintain contact using traditional e-mail.
For the fun features of Windows Phone 7 Series, the video and music playing capabilities of ZuneHD will be built into the OS. The Zune PC software is used to manage media files between a computer and the mobile device. Xbox Live games is foreseen to become a part of the fun features of the operating system. It helps you keep tabs on your friends as they update their latest exploits online. Another fun but useful feature on Windows 7 for mobile devices is Bing Maps. The map gives dynamic rendering of the places you explore and overlays the display with additional information such as streets, 3D graphics, and directions. One can also use Yelp to get a review on any business that is displayed on the screen.
Microsoft is exerting firm control on what users and manufacturers can do with Windows 7. For one, replacing the user interface with one that is non-Microsoft won’t be allowed anymore. There is a required interface hardware for all phones. There must be home, search and back buttons which must be multi-touch as well as capacitive-touch enabled.
Currently Microsoft is working with major providers to bring the smart phone all over the United States. But in order to ensure delivery during the start of this year’s holiday season, the software maker is working closely with AT&T and Orange so that a real phone gets to be displayed come fourth quarter this year.