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Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 is out and it looks pretty cool. It seems that my prediction on a previous post is about to be refuted. But only time will tell.

After the Kin disaster, Microsoft managed not only to make some commercials that look good (see below, really?), but also an operating system that actually works. (really?)

Here are some of the points that might help Phone 7.

1. The interface is cool. I have never been near a Zune, but some people claim that once you get pass the hideousness of the hardware, the software is almost good. Phone 7 borrows a lot of elements from the Zune and that’s good.

2. Microsoft is taking an approach very much like Apple’s, and is requiring its hardware partners to meet a rigid criteria in order to run Windows Phone 7. Each device must feature three standard hardware buttons, for example, and before they can ship with WP7, they have to pass a series of tests directed by Microsoft. By contrast, Google doesn’t subject manufacturers to similar testing criteria. And we’re seeing the consequences: Some touchscreens work better than others, some apps don’t work on one version of Android while they do on another, and some manufacturers are even loading bloatware onto Android devices. Most importantly, a consistent user experience will help customers understand what they’re getting when they’re shopping for a Windows phone.

3. Microsoft’s got apps, really? For business users, Microsoft’s inclusion of Office apps will be a huge lure. And there are a few important apps available right out of the gate, including Netflix, eBay, Twitter and Slacker radio.

4. Microsoft’s supposed to have games. Apple’s success with games for the iPhone has given Microsoft a clue on what a lot of people do with their smartphones: play. Integration with the Xbox 360won’t hurt, either.

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