Windows Phone 7 will make a U.S. debut in time for the holidays, says Microsoft. In contrast to offerings from Apple and Google, Windows Phone 7 aims to present users with everything they might be looking for right on their home, or "Start", screen from friends' Facebook status updates to new email messages.
Instead of being focused on apps, Microsoft says the operating system works with "tiles" that update constantly with real information. Users can arrange these tiles however they like on their Start screen. Also brought into the mix are offerings from Xbox, Bing, Office, and Zune.
That isn't to say that apps aren't to be a major part of the Windows Phone 7 experience, however. Like the iPhone and iPad's App Store, Microsoft is featuring a hub for third-party applications called the Marketplace.
Microsoft says features of its new OS were very carefully thought out. For example, users don't need to unlock their phones to take a quick picture using their cameras. Many a smart phone user complains about missing "that moment" to take a shot of something because they had to unlock their device and navigate to its camera app.
AT&T, as well as Sprint and T-Mobile, will be one of the first carriers of Windows Phone 7 devices. New phones can be expected from Samsung, HTC, Dell, and LG, says Microsoft.
Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 Monday, a new operating system for smartphones, which the company says is aimed at presenting users with everything they might be looking for right on their home screens.