Windows Phone: Our first impressions (what are yours?)

0028.wp7logo_thumb_7728ae63 Mobile We’ve been poring over all the blog posts and tweets (when Twitter manages to stay up) about Windows Phone 7 Series, and aside from being pretty impressed, we’ve come away with a few first impressions.  Of course we’re only going by what we saw this morning, and other second hand information – we probably won’t actually get our hands on one of the new phones until Mix (we hope).  Of course we’d love to hear what you think, too, leave a comment, or take our poll in the sidebar on our home page.  In the meantime, here are a few of our initial thoughts:

  • First and foremost, this is a Microsoft Phone.  As much as it is a cool new software platform, it’s also meant to be a platform for showcasing Microsoft products.  Bing, Office, Silverlight, Windows Live, and of course Zune and Xbox Live all are not only featured but are integral parts of what sets a Windows Phone 7 Series apart.  We don’t think it’s going to be a totally closed system like the iPhone, but make no mistake that lines are being drawn in the sand: if you are a big Google/GMail/Picasa user, this phone is probably not for you.  Using a Windows Phone is going to mean using Bing, and signing up for a Zune Pass, and getting into Xbox Live, and using Office.
  • Of course in our little corner of cyberspace, that means Windows Live, and we’re very interested to see where Windows Phone takes Windows Live, and visa versa.  We heard about direct syncing of photos to Windows Live services (or services supported as Windows Live Web Activities), but we didn’t see a Messenger client, for example, or the next generation of My Phone or Live Mesh for devices, etc.  We even wonder if Windows Live Wave 4 has been holding back to get Windows Phone out of the gate before we get the cool new stuff that it will work with.  Just a guess, there, but we’re anxiously awaiting more information.
  • Looks like we’re going to have to wait until Mix to hear the developer/apps/marketplace story for Windows Phone, but it’s going to play a huge role in the success of the system.  Microsoft took the time to poke fun at Apple and their apps in a video this morning, but didn’t say much about its own offerings.  Everyone from Scott Guthrie on down are pretty excited, though, and we are too.  Here’s that video:

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Windows Phone 7 Series: Life in Motion 

  • It probably isn’t going to be cheap, once you add in the always on data connection, the Zune Pass, the Xbox Live subscription, and the phone plan (but we’re already in line for one!)
  • We expect to see the mobile operators get their hands on the UI, and doubt that those simple blue boxes will survive for long, but they seem to be begging for customization, so maybe that’s a good thing.

What do you think about what you saw (you can read the Press Release and check out video highlights if you missed it)?