Windows Phone 7, since its first release, has been the laughingstock of the smartphone world. And, admittedly, its sales have been slow. But the people who do use it, love their Windows Phone.
Now, Windows Phone 7.5, also known as Mango, has been released. This article explains what Windows Phone is. Part 2 will explain the new features in Mango.
Let me explain a little about what Windows Phone actually is.
Windows Phone is a mobile operating system made by Microsoft and the successor to Windows Mobile. It runs on a new design language named Metro, and apps run on Silverlight.
Windows Phone’s Start Screen is full of ‘Live Tiles,’ which are links to applications, features, settings, and more. These are very different from static icons, because they update in real-time. For example, if you had an email tile, it could show how many unread emails you have. Or, if you had a weather tile, it would give you a live temperature report. Users can easily rearrange tiles.
There is a feature in Windows Phone called “Hubs”. Hubs are collections of items from different sources – take the Pictures hub, for example. In the pictures hub, it takes all of your pictures stored on your phone and your photo albums on Facebook. Or the People Hub – it gets all your contacts from Windows Live, your Facebook friends, your Outlook contacts, etc.
Windows Phone has a browser called Internet Explorer Mobile – which is Internet Explorer 9 designed for the smartphone. Windows Phone’s email program supports Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!, Exchange, and lots of other POP and IMAP accounts.
Windows Phone has lots of entertainment and gaming features. It comes bundled with the Zune software, which is Microsoft’s very good competitor to iTunes. The Zune PC Software is surprisingly much better than iTunes, which has caused many people to tear their hair out.
Also, the Games hub and built-in Xbox Live support give the user lots of gaming features.
And lastly, the Office hub and built in Microsoft Office Mobile lets users create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, notes, and oh, just about everything you can do in a computer.
Wow, smartphones today are as powerful as whole computers four years ago! Windows Phone, as technology netcaster Leo Laporte said, is a great first smartphone. In other words, if this is your first smartphone, this is easy to learn and is easy to use – unlike Android, which has new phones coming out every day and too much choice, and the iPhone, which, on the other extreme, has one device made by one company which comes out every one year. Windows Phone is right smack-dab in the middle – it has the best of both worlds.
Part 2: New Windows Phone 7.5 Features