Microsoft's recent launch of Windows Phone 7 OS was accompanied by a slew of announced handsets from LG, Samsung and HTC being readied for the holiday season, available from leading mobile operators in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
The US and Canada can expected to see a simultaneous Windows Phone 7 products in November.
"We have a beautiful lineup in this first wave of Windows Phone 7 handsets," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "Microsoft and its partners are delivering a different kind of mobile phone and experience..."
A firsthand encounter with LG's contribution to said beautiful lineup was recently offered to the press during pre-launch demo of the new OS. LG's event featured spokesperson Frank Lee walking select media through the new handsets and their features.
Demoing the LG Quantum and the LG Optimus - with or without a slideout keyboard, respectively - Lee showed Windows Phone's "live-tiles" which offer instantaneous updates on contacts, news, weather and even Xbox updates.
Windows Phone 7's primary shtick is "glance and go" access to information without having to enter a specific app. It is a reaction to how smartphones and their apps offer a disjointed series of single-serving experiences.
Lee also demoed some LG specific features, including an augmented reality GPS map that brings up points of interest within camera shot in real time as well as an impressive panorama photo app that automatically stitches landscape photos into a single, seamless panoramic shot.
Our initial impressions based on our brief time with the Windows Phone 7 devices is that they are fast, intuitive and responsive as well as easy to use with one hand. Rarely does one need to fiddle with settings and menus to find information as the tiles offer most everything within one click.
Windows Phone 7 distinguishes itself from current smartphone conventions in that finding and consuming data, information and services is made click-quick and easy. Microsoft has drawn from its deep portfolio of connected services including Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Office Mobile, Zune, Windows Live, Bing and more. These have been completely rewritten for the new Windows Phone 7 OS, and duly remind users that Microsoft is hardly a neophyte in the smartphone space, instead returning in fine form after a small lapse in relevance.
That said, it's not perfect, sadly. Conspicuously missing from Windows Phone 7 are two critical features of any smartphone, namely cut & paste functionality as well as multitasking. Rivals like Android OS and BlackBerry had these key features from the outset and even Apple's iOS recently introduced them into their operating system.
Windows Phone 7 is also making a play for mobile gaming as the first phone to put the power of Xbox Live into the palm of people's hands with game titles available this fall from Electronic Arts (EA). As part of Microsoft's managed portfolio of Xbox Live titles, all EA games for Windows Phone 7 will be Xbox Live-enabled. EA will deliver a portfolio of titles that offers something for every mobile gamer, from casual to core, including "Need for Speed Undercover," "Tetris" and "The Sims 3."