Windows Phone 7 is here and what everyone has wanted to know, since the first showing in Barcelona, is how the app system will hold up to the competitors on the market namely Google Android and of course the iPhone. Windows Phone 7 apps are totally different from any previous versions of Windows Mobile, which means they are not directly compatible. To be honest, that was probably a smart choice by Microsoft even if developers will know have to adapt. Microsoft delivered a great OS in Microsoft Windows 7 replacing Windows Vista with an operating system that both looked and fealt great. With the new launch, Microsoft has finally picked up the glove in the mobile OS market and things are looking great.
Windows Phone 7 looks great and feels great, I do not think anyone can argue otherwise. The interface is clean and crisp. The best way to describe the interface is like a mix between the iPhone apps screen and the elements of Android. What Microsoft sets apart is that the tiles are actually live, they update and show information as they just sit there.
The main apps, which serve as the main 'hubs' are: 'People', 'Pictures', 'Games', 'Music', 'Video' and 'Marketplace'. The picture hub stands apart a bit from the others and allows sharing of pictures trough all networks, but perhaps the greatest innovation of the main apps is the 'People' hub. I do not think I have seen anything quite like for a mobile. It allows you to see and share updates on all your social networks from one easy to use interface. Very nice and very useful indeed for keeping touch with your friends.
Windows Phone 7 Apps are not restricted by screen size but can be zoomed and panned across, which is something that is currently causing Google Android a lot of problems. Score another for Microsoft.
Last, the games section is looking very promising. Just the mention of 'X-Box' is probably going to make a lot of people take note. Windows Phone 7 integrates with X-Box Live, so there is plenty of promise for games. As the Windows apps are made primarily with Silverlight, the graphics should really be outstanding. It will probably be some time until we can play Halo 3 on our phones, but there is no doubt that the future of mobile gaming will shift to smartphones and Microsoft has been clever to recognized this already.