I’m in New York City this morning for the Windows Phone 7 press conference and other launch-related events. But you don’t need to be here to see the press conference: Microsoft is going to stream it live on the web as well.
It’s not up as I write this–the press conference starts at 9:30 am ET–but you can visit this Microsoft Press page as we get closer to that time to watch the event live. Press conferences are always interesting and exciting, so this will probably be no exception. :)
My news story about the Windows Phone 7 announcement and other events is now on WinInfo.
Some photos from before the press conference:
So far, I’ve seen Steve Ballmer, Joe B. and Brandon Watson from Microsoft, and the CEO of AT&T, who looks like the villain from a Harrison Ford movie.
T-Mobile has announced the HTC HD7, its new Windows Phone 7 smartphone.
And the event starts. Some notes from the press conference:
Steve Ballmer on stage.
Different kind of phone. Not just what, but how. Design creativity. The things you love. Focus on how real people really want to use phones on the go. Let you get in, out, and back to life. Thoroughly modern. Embraces what people do today with Internet services. Very different tact.
Two key themes. Always Delightful … Wonderfully Mine. For the consumer and for developers. Everybody should be able to represent themselves in their Windows Phone.
Twitter app shown on Ballmer’s phone. Also a pinned OneNote To-Do. Hm.
Variety of devices carted out. Lots of different form factors. 9 phones available here in the US in November. Range here. LG, Samsung, HTC, and from Dell. Some with keyboards. Some can Play To TV. Super beautiful screen. Ruggedized.
“They are beautiful.” The hardware and software is always delightful.
Partners. Hardware makers. Over 60 mobile operators around the world. AT&T. Orange. T-Mobile. Vodafone. Etc.
Ralph de la Vega. Mobility CEO, AT&T.
Congrats, exciting day. Etc. Breakthrough smartphone experience.
Long history of working with Microsoft. First Windows Mobile device in 2003. U-Verse TV a few years later. Making history again with WP7. More smartphone customers than any other US carrier. We knew WP7 was going to be a winner.
Launching 3 amazing new devices from LG, HTC and Samsung
LG Quantum. 4.3 inch screen. 16 GB of storage. Hardware keyboard. DLNA support for Play To. $199.99.
HTC Surround. Media and gaming centric. 3.8 inch screen. 16 GB of storage. 5 MPX camera. Only smart phone with 2 speakers, Dolby Surround Sound. Sound quality is terrific. Kickstand on back. $199.99.
Samsung Focus. Best looking screen. 4.3 inch display OLED. Amazing. 8 GB of storage. 5 MPX camera. Thinnest WP7 phone. $199.99. November 8 launch. (Other two come a few weeks later.)
New entertainment option for WP7 customers – U-Verse Mobile. Nationwide, for low monthly fee, even if you don’t have service at home. New capability: On Xbox 360 as well. Coming soon. First TV provider in the US to add this.
Joe Belfiore, corporate VP – Demo
I’ll be looking for new features, changes here.
Smart design + Windows Phone Hubs – anticipates what you want and need, and can be customized – hubs are dedicated destinations – go there, get benefits of web services, content on phone, and third party apps
AT&T U-verse Mobile double-wide tile on the Start screen. Also the Twitter app, IMDB, eBay. Live tile for the Amazon web site (from IE).
Photo demo. Filmstrip mode by pinching to zoom on taken photos.
Outlook Mobile. Says something a bit inaccurate about Outlook for PC integration. Yes, you can flag emails in Outlook/PC and have them show up that way on the phone. But that’s Exchange Server integration, not Outlook. There’s no direction connection between the phone and Outlook/PC.
Text entry in email reply. Spent a lot of time on this. Uses the hardware keyboard. Auto-corrects on the fly. Gets applause for accuracy. Touch mistaken word to correct, correction bar pops up. (Nothing actually new here, just a good demo.)
Quick sidebar: Windows Phone apps are public now in Zune 4.7:
OK, back to demo…
Calendar demo. Address links launch Maps app. Zoom in close enough and it switches to satellite view. (Also not new.)
Bing – built-in search capabilities. Find stuff in the real world with dedicated hardware button. Auto-recognizes your location. Suggestions as you type. Rich experience to help you make decisions. Web, local, and news pivots. (None of this is new.)
Talk to the phone – press and hold Start. Uses Tell Me technology. (Not new.)
Hubs. There are 6. Post to a Facebook wall right from a contact card in the People hub.
Pictures. Windows Phones will be amazing for taking pictures and enjoying pictures. Gorgeous screens. Online services integration, What’s New feed. Browse photos in the cloud and on the device, simultaneously. Can add comments to photos stored on social networks. Very natural. (Nothing new.)
Office. Business scenario. Documents on phone. SharePoint access. (Not mentioned: No SkyDrive, which is pretty inexcusable when you think about it.) To-Do list in OneNote. This is the one app that syncs to SkyDrive. Can access from OneNote Web App. (Nothing new.)
Music + Video. Open to third parties. Lyrics. You Tube. iheartradio. Slacker. In a new Marquee pivot. This is actually “new” in the sense that we knew it was coming but hadn’t seen it live yet. Zune and Zune Pass stuff.
eBay, third party app. Nice use of WP pivot UI.
IMDb. Another third party app. Hub-like experience.
AT&T U-verse Mobile. Enable our partners to make meaningful value-adds, integrated in elegantly. User gets a natural experience. Hub-type experience.
Games hub. Two Game Invite requests in the Requests pivot. Collection view with Fruit Ninja Xbox LIVE game. Spotlight feed. Xbox LIVE pivot with Gamertag, avatar, achievements. New: Touch avatar, runs Xbox LIVE Extras. Change My Style and Change My Features options to change the avatar.
Games. Switches phones because they have startup time. Hm. Eelo Meelo (sp?) – Fun looking 3D puzzle game. Real 3D. Great performance. Will be available exclusively on AT&T phones this holiday season. (WTF???)
We will have EA available at launch as a gaming partner. Suite of games. The SIMS3 for Windows Phone. Xbox LIVE game.
Updates. Heard feedback. Feature we’re adding in early 2011, copy and paste. Woo!
Steve Ballmer is back
A different kind of phone. Beautiful devices from partners. Video of them.