Microsoft is still keeping quiet about many of Windows Phone 7's details, but the company has now let slip that it's going to be available in October 2010. The software giant has also showed off voice search, deep linking apps to Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and the automatic sharing of content created on the phone.
This new information comes to us via the Microsoft Advertising YouTube channel, as first reported by WMPoweruser. In the video (below), Kostas Mallios, General Manager of Live Labs at Microsoft, talks about Windows Phone at this year's Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France, and while the obvious emphasis is advertising, since the audience is full of marketers, he still manages to talk about features that consumers care about:
Most importantly, when Microsoft VP for Marketing Mich Mathews introduces Mallios (at about 15 seconds in), he says that he "has brought with him Windows Phone 7, which we launch this October." We've known for a while that devices with Microsoft's upcoming mobile operating system will be available by the holidays, but now we know that it will launch four months from now.
At the 2:25 mark, Mallios decides to perform a voice-activated search with Bing. As far as we can tell, this is the first demo of voice search for Windows Phone 7, and it responds surprisingly quickly. Still, to get to the search, and after the query has given back results, Mallios uses touch to navigate the interface, so it remains unclear just how extensive the voice support is in the new OS.
At 4:05, Mallios explains how advertisers will be able to deep link into the marketplace to smooth out the experience of getting new apps. "Traditionally, when you go to a website and download an app from a marketer or from a product's company, it actually takes you to an app store of some sort and then you have to find your way through and so on," he explains. "What we actually do is we preserve the brand experience by going directly from the website right to the application through a secure certified connection that allows the brand experience to go straight to the customer."
At the 7:50 mark, Mallios takes a picture of Mathews and himself and says: "And what I love about this: zero-step sharing. This has already gone on my SkyDrive and is being shared with my friends." Windows Phone 7 requires a Windows Live account, so it's not too surprising that Microsoft has decided to take advantage of its Web services in such a streamlined way.
Now, let's backpedal a bit and take a look at the advertising area, which is what Mallios was focusing on during his short presentation. "This is actually turning out, in my view, to be an ad-serving machine... it basically enables advertisers to connect with consumers over time," he said at the start.
He then went on to show how companies will be able to send users information, news, and offers via the tiles that represent their Windows Phone 7 apps. "What you'll see is that there's actually a message on that tile, so that title is actually a dynamic tile that you're now able to push information to as an advertiser, and stay in touch with your customer," he said. "It's a dynamic relationship that is created and provides for an ongoing dialog with the consumer."
Assuming the user has downloaded, installed, and pinned a given app, advertisers will be able to push notifications about their products to it. If the app is not running or pinned, content providers can still reach the user through something called "toast," a small box that slides down from the top of the phone's screen to alert the user there's an update from that app. Mallios did note, however, that the user can choose to opt in or out from some or all of the push notifications.
Source: ars technica