UPDATE: Microsoft launched nine new Windows Phones today. We think the platform is pretty, but that Microsoft has a lot of work to do to keep its pretty new phones from flopping.
We took live notes from the event. Keep reading for that, or skip to: The Definitive Guide To All The Windows Phone 7 Handsets
EARLIER: We’re here live in New York City to see Microsoft unveil Windows Phone 7.
Steve Ballmer is scheduled to speak, as is AT&T wireless boss Ralph De La Vega.
We’ll be live blogging it all. Hit refresh on the browser for the latest, or click here to get the latest.
Apologies in advance for typos, only things in quotes are direct quotes.
9:36: We’re settled in, waiting for the event to kick off. It’s packed, and it took a while to get in…
9:39: Ballmer! Very excited, we built a different kind of phone.
Not just what you’ll do with the phone, but how you’ll do it. We are bringing together the things you love. Focused on people using it for real. Get you in and out and back to life. As simple as humanly possible.
“Always delightful and wonderfully mine,” is the tag line Ballmer just said twice.
9:42: We want it to be always delightful, whether looking for a place to eat, catching up with friends or making a phone call (emphasis there).
9:43: Ballmer shows his phone. He has twitter on his front page, and an avatar for Xbox live.
9:44: We’ll have nine phones available. From Lg to Samsung. You’ll see super beautiful screens. You’ll see ruggedize for toughest users like this Dell.
9:45: Consistent choices delightfully their own. Broad set of partners from around the world.
9:47: Here’s Ralph De La Vega…congrats Steve! We have a long partnership together. We launched first Windows Mobile phone together. Now Ralph is talking about AT&T U-Verse…and “here we go again to make history” with Windows Phone 7.
9:48: When Steve and his team showed us Windows Phone 7 we knew it was going to be a winner. Microsoft made UI fun fast and personal. WP7 experience built around you. We back it up with a consistent high speed network. Beginning November 8th, cornerstone of our smartphone portfolio — 3 devices from LG, Samsung, and HTC.
First is the LG quantum, 1ghz snapdragon, and full keyboard. Quantum is $199.
9:50: Next is the HTC surround. It’s perfect for media and gaming. 2 dolby speakers that slideout for a compelling multimedia experience. Even has a kickstand to listen to music or do a speaker phone call. Also priced at $199.
9:51: Next is the Samsung focus — super AMOLEd screen. Best screen of all WP7 phones. Also the thinnest. It is also $199.
9:51: Launching on November 8th.
U-Verse mobile…you can order nationwide U-Verse on your phone for a low monthly fee for Windows Phone 7. U-Verse will also be available on Xbox. First provider to do this.
9:53: Again, congrats Steve! And Ballmer is back.
Windows Phone 7 not just what you do, it’s how you do it…demo time. Joe Belfiore is coming up to give a tour.
9:55: “Our unique point of view,” is the hubs we’ve created for people. (It’s anti-app.)
9:56: Lock screen has your next appointment on it.
Three hardware buttons. Back, home and search. These are on all WP7 phones. Your tiles light up with information.
9:57: Phones will ship with AT&T u-verse preloaded. “Value add.” Also know as bloat ware to some.
9:58: Belfiore is demoing moving tiles around, making this “deeply personal.” He bumps off Steve Ballmer for his wife. Now that WP7 is launching, he’ll focus on his personal life again.
9:59: He just demoed a fast way to get to the camera. After taking a photo you can upload straight to Facebook. From pocket to picture to the web in seconds. Get in and get out and get back to your meaningful lives. (The big theme, simple and back to normal life.)
10:01: Showing the inbox. It looks good we must say. Ballmer sent him a slide deck in power point. Now he’s demoing powerpoint. Also looks good.
10:03: Here’s place where we are also kicking butt, he says — text entry. I’m going to type as fast as I can. Let’s see what happens. He cranked out a quick sentence. He only got there wrong — it was rhere.
10:04: To fix a typo, touch the word, see a bunch of correction options. Then correct it.
10:05: Make sure we have outlook integration on the phone that lives up to the desktop. Ballmer recommends post launch dinner at TGIFridays. HA!
10:06: Phone gives you the option to see scheduling conflicts in your email. Steve’s dinner conflicts with a conference call. Belfiore can decide whether to say yes or no. (Joe, don’t blow off the boss, dude.)
10:07: Bing Maps gets pulled up when you click on the address, just like on most smartphones.
10:11: Now he’s searching for something better than TGIF. He types in Thai through Bing. It gives you local food options, or news, or websites. Duh, he wants food. If the restaurant has a rating, he can see that. He gets the best rated restaurant and checks it out.
10:13: See? It all ties together. Bing is essential. Helps keep the phone together — this is a message to investors, we think. All of Microsoft’s disparate divisions are neatly packaged into WP7.
10:13: Network failure for Belfiore. Tried the “Tellme” service. Tries gain to get Alaska Flight 7 by talking to phone. The servers get the answer back to him with data on the flight. (It worked on try two.)
10:15: Now we’re talking about Windows Phone hubs. There are six. Imagine screen wider than your phone. Easy to pane over. “In people hub we try to bring together all the people you care about.”
I can put my wife on the fron tiles. I have speed dial, speed text, but also “speed social networking consumption,” which means he can quickly put something on her Facebook wall. The family is excited about Seattle Storm of the WNBA. (Weird, no?)
10:16: Next up, let’s talk pictures. This phone will be great for pictures. We want you to consume on your phone, or send to others to see.
10:19: Let’s talk Office. We have a whole hub dedicated to Office. OneNote is there. You see word, excel powerpoint saved on phone. Now you have sharepoint. Sharepoint servers. You can do real, honest to goodness work on the phone. (Our take: Not getting you out of the phone quickly here! You’re working!)
10:22: Next up, music and videos. On left access to Zune library. We want to do this with as few clicks as possible. I’ve been playing the Black Eye Peas lately. (Our take — yuck.) “You know how it is, you get into music” and listen to an album as often as possible. We have third party apps plugging in, also. YouTube, i heart radio, slacker, etc.
10:24: Guys in the crew telling me about Phoenix. He thinks they’re popular because their music was in Entourage. (Sorry dude, they were popular before that. (sorry to be a music snob, we can’t help it!))
10:25: This music hub keeps me up to date with music.
10:25: He’s demoing the eBay app. He was looking for a Kinect early on eBay. The tiles use the Windows Phone experience. “We want this to always be delightful.” Jump in and show you some more apps.
10:26: IMDB app. User experience should feel familiar. It’s hub like. Pan over and get full choices. (It is a nice looking OS, no denying that.)
10:27: Now he’s showing U-Verse mobile. “Elegant co-existence.” We want UI to fit the phone from app to app to home screen…etc.
10:29: Last hub is the games hub. Windows Phone is the only phone that works with Xbox. Two invites to play backgammon. Multiplayer gaming should feel natural.
10:30 Joe just said his sister loves it, and “she’s not a young sister — she’s 40.” Everyone laughed, and he realised he could be in trouble. “Don’t tell her I said that.”
10:33: Demos Ilo Milo, a very nice looking game. Exclusive to WP7 this winter.
We will have EA at launch. A suite of titles. We will have Sims. Demoing SIMs. He’s showing a broken fridge he needs to fix. Because its Xbox live, you can increase score and share with friends. He’s wrapping up now.
10:34: Phones support an update mechanism. All the phones will get the updates. Early 2011 for copy and paste. A feature we didn’t initally have.
10:35: Ballmer back. I hope you agree what we’ve done here is really a different kind of phone. The Windows Phone comes from a range of folks. Now we get a video from these people.
10:36: Qualcomm excited about its chip being in there. Microsoft can put a stake in ground and say we’re making a difference. Now its Dell talking about greate MSFT is…HTC CEO Peter Chou now…LG now…
10:38: Ballmer, again different kind of phone always delightful, wonderfully personal. Have a great day he says!
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