Microsoft leaders upcoming new features for Windows Phone 7 and provided a glimpse into the new phone's early feedback at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Spain.
Andy Lees, president of Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business, told delegates at Mobile World that Windows Phone 7 had been received with enthusiasm:
"So far we've had a fantastic reaction from customers, with a 93 percent customer satisfaction rate and nine out of 10 customers saying they are likely to recommend [the phone] to someone else. All of this contributed to Nokia choosing us. And with this partnership, we are taking another big step toward driving global scale, reach and impact."
For the future Microsoft announced the following expanded capabilities:
- Copy and paste functionality via the first major update, coming in the next month.
- Twitter integration directly into the People Hub, coming in 2011.
- Support for Office documents in the cloud, coming in 2011.
- Dramatically enhanced Web browser experience based on Internet Explorer 9 in 2011.
- A new wave of multitasking applications in 2011.
- Targeting a significant volume of Nokia Windows Phones in 2012.
In addition, the phone will be available soon on U.S. networks such as Verizon and Sprint.
Overall this is deeply unimpressive. Copy and paste should have been features from the word go; integration with office in the cloud is an obvious feature that a Microsoft phone should have had from the start; Twitter integration is good but so what...
About the only thing that makes WP7 different from Android and iPhone is its programming model. WP7 programmers are able to work with a sophisticated development system that is equal to anything you can find for desktop development. The .NET framework and languages are mature and sophisticated and this should translate into amazing apps.
So far this hasn't happened. One reason is probably the way that Microsoft has made WP7 closed - nothing stifles innovation like a prison cell. If you want to play with a phone use Android - it's cheap, open source and you can just get on with it. If you want to do the same with WP7 you have to pay $99, sign up and then you can only use five phones to run your experimental code! It may not be much money but the whole feel of the experience is quite different.
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