4:16PM And we're out... hands on time!
4:15PM "And with that, I want to wrap up. We hope you enjoy the conference."
4:15PM "Windows Phone 7 Series will be available this holiday season, 2010."
4:14PM "And there's a lot happening in the TV space. Very exciting stuff."
4:14PM "Three screens and a cloud. The PC, now mobile. We hope 7 is our lucky number!"
4:13PM "I hope we've given you a chance to look at what we're doing. I think we have an opportunity with these devices. I'm enthusiastic about the direction we're heading. It's a big step, but I think we have a chance to make an impact on the market." Wow. This is Microsoft speaking!
4:12PM Andy is back. "This is a new way to work together with partners. And now Steve."
4:11PM "Today only 25% of our customers are going to the mobile internet... in 2011 we have the chance to get the other 75%. We have to work together on distribution and support. Customers will receive care to get up and running, and I am convinced we can get more people to the mobile internet. Thank you!" Okay...
4:10PM "Thank you. Congratulations. A great product. We're proud of the partnership with Microsoft. It was good to find out today we were the first in 2002 with the smartphone... just a year before AT&T." Ha. Nice one Olaf.
4:09PM And now, Olaf Swantee, SVP of personal business at Orange.
4:09PM "We're thrilled to be the premiere partner on these new phones. We'll ship 66 million smartphones in 2010. That's double from the year previous. That will be driven in part by 7 Series phones. We can't wait to get these into the market... thanks!" Wow, that was FAST!
4:08PM David Christopher from AT&T is up.
4:07PM Now discussing carriers... AT&T and Orange coming on stage!
4:05PM More cloud service news at MIX. Man, MIX is going to be hot this year. Hot!
4:05PM Andy is discussing their requirements for phones for OEMs to meet. Tough, but fair, or so he claims. He also used the word synergistical, which is great.
4:04PM "These phones have four point multitouch." Interesting. Perfect for aliens.
4:03PM And now, the hardware partners... Qualcomm, Dell, LG, Samsung, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba. So... pretty much everyone.
4:02PM "We want to strive for synergy where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts."
4:01PM "There are more than a billion phones sold every year, and a massive shift over to smartphones. Partners can meet the diverse needs of customers. One size does not fit all. People want different phones, different form factors."
4:00PM "I joined the mobile group about 2 years ago. We used that as an opportunity to reevaluate our strategy. We've changed a lot of things, but we've kept the partner model the same."
4:00PM "I think we're on our way to making the changes we need, and they're pretty exciting. Now I want to invite on stage Andy Lees to talk about our partnerships."
3:58PM "With out mobile operators, we needed a model that raised the bar, but gave the carriers freedom."
3:57PM "We still need to enable partners' innovation. We want to see lots of diversity. And I think the new way we'll collaborate with partners, you'll see that."
3:56PM "We also wanted to take a step forward with how we work with partners."
3:56PM "So we'll talk a little bit more about what developers can do next month, but we want to take a very big step forward on that."
3:56PM "At the end of the day, we all understand that in the business of info tech, software and creativity, and the innovation of developers is important. We build a new foundation with a rich set of development tools which we'll discuss at MIX next month."
3:54PM "We worked hard to say 'what's the minimum hardware'? How do we know that we have a set of smart design."
3:53PM "You'll see us continue to invest in 6.5, but this is a whole new generation. We built with three fundamental changes in mind. Some should have popped clearly, some probably less so. First, we really wanted to lead and take much more accountability then we had in earlier versions of Windows Phones."
3:52PM "I hope you share some of my excitement for the opportunity. This market is highly competitive, highly dynamic, and super exciting!" Whoa, Steve is getting heated.
3:52PM Ballmer is back!
3:51PM Well that was a brief video.
3:51PM Ha! "The industry has hit a wall. You just go into apps, and out. In, and out. In and out." The voice over sounds like an infomercial. Pretty tongue in cheek.
3:50PM "I'm going to play a quick video. Thanks very much." Wow -- huge applause.
3:50PM We suspect there will be games. They've said as much -- just nothing being demoed yet. These devices are definitely equipped for gaming.
3:49PM "When we look at Xbox LIVE, we think it's a great addition to the family of services..." Uh, well. So no games? No game demos? Why Microsoft? Why?
3:49PM "I want to show you how this looks and works on a real phone. So you've got your avatar here, spotlight updates, and recent achievements. There are requests -- you can see someone is nudging Anna to come and game with them."
3:48PM "As I think about my use of games, I play games on my phone, I connect on my PC, and I play on Xbox LIVE. We wanted to bring that experience together for people. So here's the games hub, which features Xbox LIVE. We're bringing the service as a built in part of the 7 Series."
3:47PM "Okay, I have one more hub to show you... games." Aw yeah. Here we go.
3:47PM Joe's just showing off Zune to everyone in Europe. Hey you know what they should do? Release Zune for everyone in Europe. Just a thought.
3:46PM Now a demo of syncing. "You'll see the phone is recognized, and the Zune software pops up. I know some of you here in Europe may not have seen it. I want to show how easy it is to get music on your device."
3:45PM "But we go beyond that. So here's a look at Zune on the 7 Series. Notice the Pandora Train radio here." Hmm, Pandora is integrated right into the Zune application. Not really clear on how that works, but obviously Microsoft has some partnerships lined up.
3:44PM "So the fun stuff... music and video. Now I love Pandora... it's easy on the PC, but the phone is, again, not a PC. So let me introduce the music and video hub. First off, every 7 Series phone will be a Zune."
3:43PM Office loads up with options for new pages and your most recently created items. In the middle panel is your full list of documents. And on the right panel is a SharePoint panel. No real look at Office here. Hopefully they'll have that rolled out before launch.
3:41PM Okay! Office now. "Most of you have probably used Microsoft Office. I'm a big fan of OneNote, I love it. SharePoint is also a great service... but we've tried to take that experience and bring it together on the phone. Here's the office hub." Whoa.
3:41PM "Now these are folders I've saved on the phone, and here are others that are on Facebook." So it pulls galleries from the cloud as well. Pretty nice feature.
3:40PM Facebook pic uploading integrated into the photo app.
3:39PM Pictures hub walkthrough now. Same basic layout, but a list of galleries, a panel with recently synced items, and then a "what's new" feed that shows latest updates to your social networks from friends and loved ones. And people you don't know that well too, presumably.
3:38PM "Next up, pictures. The way I use pictures on my PC is really rich and varied. On the PC using different applications is easy... but the phone's not a PC." Wait, it isn't?
3:37PM "Now I can press the pin button and add that person to my favorites." "That's the idea, bring this stuff together in one place that's simple."
3:37PM Showing off the people hub navigation. One pane with your recent contacts, one pane your info, and one pane with latest social networking updates.
3:35PM "On the PC it's easy to switch between those, but the phone is not a PC. So let me introduce the people hub. The idea is to bring together the people you care about the most."
3:35PM "I'm going to walk you through 5 of these hubs -- first up is People. There's lots of ways to manage lists of people. Outlook, Facebook, I use webmail like Gmail."
3:34PM "We call these integrated experiences Hubs." Hey!
3:33PM "That's the state of our software running on the phone... and there's a whole second set of features I want to talk about. Integrated services."
3:32PM Flags, attachments, multiple message management is present here. Nice. What about threaded views? No? No.
3:32PM Tabs, favorites, you can pin a page to your Start menu as a tile. "So that's the browser. I'm going to go back to the Start experience. I want to show you the communication features of the phone." Here's the new Outlook. Really bold, really... big. Everything.
3:31PM "Here's a look at the browser. This is a much more advanced browser then we've ever shipped. It's based on the desktop version of IE, so it's highly compatible with lots of webpages." The browser looks pretty darn speedy. "I'm going to zoom way in here. I want you to take a look at this, this is a step beyond cleartype, it's called pixel positioning."
3:29PM "If I want to pick one of these, the Bing engine tries to provide data... here in Spain we haven't filled out all the data for these items. Directions to here, I can dial the number, I can read reviews. I can businesses near this one."
3:28PM Bing automatically locates you and does a local search.
3:27PM "So I'm going to go back, I'm back at my calendar... I'm going to think of a way to use some free time. I haven't had any time to get lunch... so here in Spain, I'm a fan of Sushi -- I touch the search button... and here I am in the Bing search environment."
3:26PM Ha! "We support multitouch and all these rich multitouch gestures. It's consistent with our PC implementation."
3:26PM Showing off maps now... pinch to zoom, and very smooth animations on transitions. In fact, there's been no hiccups at all on performance. Everything is super smooth.
3:25PM "This detects phone numbers and address in the browser, in email and messages, so you don't have to copy and paste to get them."
3:24PM Who would of thought we could be impressed by a calendar?
3:24PM "Here's the calendar in agenda view... items in red are my personal calendar, blue is exchange. Here's day view -- I see all my appointments. Down on the bottom is something we call the app bar, it's all the commands for the application." Oh cool, you can drag it up for more options. Nice month calendar view as well...
3:23PM "You can put people on these tiles, you can promote applications, a playlist of the music you're listening to. Now I want to show you the experiences that are built into the phone. Here's the calendar... ooh, I lost my connection..."
3:22PM He's listing off the tiles on the start screen -- everything is moving really quite smoothly. Lots of little animations within the tiles. "When my wife updates her Facebook profile, it updates on the tile so I always know what's going on."
3:20PM "Those pictures are coming from your friends, and social networks, exchange."
3:20PM "I'm going to show you a real live demo of a real live device. This is prototype hardware."
3:19PM "We wanted the software experience to be deeply personal and relevant to your life. It should dynamically change to address where you are physically."
3:18PM "We've tried to make hardware and software that work in unison. Every phone will have three buttons on the front -- start, search, and back."
3:18PM Nice iconography here, even in the presentation.
3:17PM "We want to make a modern phone that fits people's complex lives. I'm going to show you videos and some code. But there are two parts here. First, we want a smart design that puts the user at the center of the experience. Second, we wanted to design integrated experiences."
3:16PM Just to put this in perspective, it's somewhat astonishing that Microsoft has actually produced something this different from their previous work. Think about what you've seen in previous versions of WM. It's a bit nuts.
3:15PM Here we go. Sounds like some Eno. Oooh, wait. No. Demo of the UI on a long tall screen to the left of us. Man -- it does look fresh up there.
3:15PM "And with that context, I'm going to step aside and just let you see the new user experience for 7 phones."
3:14PM "Phones kind of look like PCs... and the phone is not a PC. They all started to look the same. We wanted to revisit how we thought about that design. We wanted to move beyond the metaphor that works well for the PC. We asked ourselves a couple of questions. We said how can we build a phone that focuses on the end user?"
3:13PM "I want to give you a little bit of context, then we're going to jump in and show you the product. When I came to the team about a year and a half ago, we knew this was an opportunity to change. We saw what was happening in the cloud, we saw what was happening with devs... but it created complexity... and we didn't see UIs of phones changing to meet that."
3:12PM "Good afternoon -- I've been at MSFT twenty years, and I'm really excited about today."
3:12PM "Please welcome Joe Belfiore."
3:12PM "At the end of the day, this is all about the phone and how the consumer will react to these devices. It's our pleasure to share with you the next version of Windows Phones... the 7 Series."
3:11PM "It's my pleasure to welcome you all here. It's a real pleasure for me to be here with you. We debated a lot how much we should position and talk about from whence we've come... I said 'stop' -- we said let's just get on with the show."
3:11PM "Ladies and gentlemen... Steve Ballmer."
3:07PM No wait. It's back!
3:07PM Okay... music is down...
3:03PM Everything here is very white, very light. And we've got a lot of "Ready. Set." Go? Go? Just say when guys.
2:59PM 'Groove Is In the Heart'? Okay, we dig it. The crowd here is immense. Getting into our seats was seriously a miracle. Microsoft provided Ethernet for bloggers though! Isn't that toughtful? It is. Admit it.
2:57PM Okay folks -- this thing is getting underway soon. Some smooth house music on right now. At least it's not the Black Eyed Peas!