Windows Phones: A New Name, and Raising The Game

Yesterday, Microsoft presented at Mobile World Congress 2009, in Barcelona. Steve Ballmer and Andy Lees presented our strategy for our mobile strategy. One of the early points is that we are calling our devices Windows Phones. We also announced officially Windows Mobile 6.5, Microsoft Marketplace, and My Phone Services.

There’s a nice review on PressPass: Microsoft Reveals New Windows Phones with Marketplace and My Phone Services. This link includes info on the new OEM partnerships and some new devices.

The presentation transcript and video has been captured. But, I also captured a few interesting tidbits from the recording.


  • Windows Mobile 6.5
    • new user experience
    • new browser
  • Microsoft My Phone
    • services that make it easy to manage personal information on a Windows phone via the web. With My Phone, you can back up and protect all of the information on your phone on the web, so you can access it on the web and restore it quickly and easily to a new mobile device. My Phone streamlines the flow of information between your mobile phone and your PC. It makes it easy to synchronize, edit, and share all of your information.
  • Windows Marketplace for Mobile
    • find applications to match your needs and make your phones truly unique and personal to you. Today, there are already over 20,000 applications that run with the Windows Mobile OS. We are going to give developers new tools to continue to build increasingly better applications; however, with the Marketplace, they will also have the freedom and the convenience to distribute them and have customers find them easily.

Interesting quotes

Today, we have a very strong Windows mobile ecosystem. Our industry partners include more than 50 companies that make phones, over 160 mobile phone operators, and almost 500,000 software development companies that are writing applications. In the past year, our partners have delivered more than 30 new Windows phones to market, giving users more choice than with any other mobile platform available today. There are already 11 unique phones from our partners that have each sold over a million units, which is phenomenal by any stretch of the imagination… – Steve Ballmer

We are going to move from looking just at devices to devices plus software and services. We are also shifting from a focus on business to business and consumer. We are going to work together to provide Windows phones, Windows Live and Windows on the PC... – Andy Lees

Video of WM 6.5 at 13:13

Only Windows can bring the best of the PC, the cloud and the phone together for my whole life. 15:11

New 6.5 home screen 16:25

19:32 This is important: all the Windows Phones will have the same button on them. We will provide distinct value to the end customer and they will be able to go into any store and see which phones are Windows phones, because they will all have a Windows flag on them. If you press the button, you have access to all the things that you can do on the phone through the start UI. - Andy Lees

20:00 New browser

21:49 One of the things that I really love about IM on my Windows phone is the ability to respond with voice so that I can avoid typing as well as adding a bit of emotion to my IM.

23:20 We now have a three-way IM between the PC, the phone and somebody who, a few seconds ago, was killing somebody on an Xbox.

24:10 Shows new My Phone service on PC

29:15-32:32 Partner video

  • Geesung Choi, Samsung CEO & President
  • Peter Chou, HTC, CEO
  • Dan Hesse, Sprint, CEO
  • Hisatsugu Nonaka, Toshiba, Corporate Senior Executive Vice President
  • Olaf Swantee, Orange, Senior Executive Vice President
  • Sol Trujillo, Telestra, CEO
  • Dr. Skott Ahn, LG, President and CEO
  • Yves Maitre, Orange, Senior Vice President, Devices and Multimedia Orange
  • Ivan G. Seidenberg, Verizon, Chairman and CEO

Peter Chou, HTC, CEO, 32:32-38:30

  • More than 40 million HTC Windows phones have been sold around the world
  • HTC Touch Diamond2 and HTC Touch Pro2 are Windows 6.5 ready
  • “Those customers who purchase these two devices will be able to upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5 for free when it is available”, 37:50

Dr. Skott Ahn, LG, President and CEO, 38:30-41:58

  • LG and Microsoft signed an agreement a few hours ago
  • You will see more than 50 LG Windows phone models between now and 2012. The first Windows phone is the LG GM-730, representing the strong partnership between LG and Microsoft. Starting with this model, LG and Microsoft will introduce a wide range of Windows phones across the world in all price ranges

Yves Maitre, Orange, Senior Vice President of Devices, 41:58-46:00

47:30 Q&A [This is not captured in the transcript link above]

  • So many new devices over the last year have brought their own user experience, how is that going to marry with the new user experience in Windows Mobile 6.5? [Jon Summary] Windows Mobile 6.5 raises the bar on user experience, yet we will still allow for partners to innovate.
  • 48:44 A year ago, Windows Mobile 6.1 was announced and we were told it was going to have a new version of IE Mobile, and it didn’t come out, and the manufacturers started putting Opera as the pre-installed browser on the phones. Why such a long delay, and how much will that hurt Microsoft? [Jon Summary] We shipped an updated rendering engine in 6.1, and now you see a the next part of this. It was a 2 step process. Overall impact of Opera’s browser on the phone is negligible, and we see that partners wanted the overall experience on the phone, and that is what we are now delivering. Steve says that is also shows our openness and flexibility for our partners (our open ecosystem approach).
  • 50:34 How are you going to connect with the consumer? In the fall, we’ll do significant promotion and partnering. We’ll create a large awareness with end customers. Steve says that we’ll also make sure that Windows Phones are visually identifiable, and have that logo be of value.
  • 51:48 You say that Windows Mobile will be rebranded to Windows Phone. What does that mean for current names of WM Classic, Standard, and Professional? Will all WM devices have new button requirements? [Jon Summary] All the phones will have a button as the START experience (the Windows button), a call button, and a End button – those are the 3 minimum requirements. Steve says: the O/S is still called Windows Mobile, but we want to make it easier to pronounce the device.
  • 53:16 Will the My Phone service work with earlier phones or is WM 6.5 required? Also, will the service work with other operating systems? [Jon Summary] There will be a downloadable client for WM 6.1, and we don’t have any current plans to put that on non-WM phones.
  • 53:45 Will the WM 6.5 phone support Flash and Silverlight? [Jon Summary] We will support Flash, but Silverlight is not in the install today. We still have some more work there to do.
  • 55:10 There are people that expected to see more news on Windows Mobile 7. Can we get an update? [Jon Summary] Steve says: from the 6.5 name, you should conclude that there is a Windows Mobile 7 still in our future. I wouldn’t expect it on the same time frame as Windows 7. We haven’t set a date for Windows 7 as we are in Beta. You might have noticed Windows 7 was used in these demo’s. So far, the feedback on Windows 7 have been good, and we are excited for that. When we have news Windows Mobile 7, you’ll be the first to know.

56:30, Video, Windows Phones video (messages and images, with cool music)

  • Start Your Windows Phones
  • Start keeping your stuff in the cloud
  • Shoot it here (phone camera), see it here (PC)
  • Be thankful for backup
  • Start taking the internet for a ride
  • Take the office with you
  • Check you balance while you check your look
  • IM your friends here
  • Stop asking us for directions
  • Start making it yours
  • Get faces not just numbers
  • Start having choices (showing different form factors)
  • Start your Windows Phones
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