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Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - Microsoft Previews Windows Phone 7 Smartphones from Asus, LG, Samsung - Microsoft Previews Windows Phone 7 Smartphones from Asus, LG, Samsung

Microsoft Previews Windows Phone 7 Smartphones from Asus, LG, Samsung
by Jacqueline Emigh - 7/21/2010
Without stating whether or not its Windows Phone 7 (WP7) phones are still scheduled to show up in retail stores by year's end, Microsoft took a big step forward this week in announcing a "technical preview" involving the delivery of prototype phones from Asus, LG, and Samsung to application developers.

"Starting today, thousands of prototype phones from Asus, LG and Samsung are making their way into the hands of developers over the next few weeks," according to Terry Myerson, Microsoft's CVP for Windows Phone Engineering.

"Combine that with the beta release of Windows Phone developer tools, and I can't wait to see how our developer partners take advantage of our new approach to smart design and integrated experiences," he wrote, in a Microsoft blog post.

WP7 to Compete with iPhone and Android OS
Faced with rising competition from Apple's iPhone, RIM's BlackBerry, and increasing numbers of phones based on the Android OS, Microsoft unveiled plans in February to recast its smartphone platform on an entirely new software code base.

At developer events since then, Microsoft has worked hard at drumming up interest in WP7, in hopes of starting to catch up in smartphone apps.

Early last week, Microsoft released the beta code for the Phone 7 0S, a smartphone environment that will center around six separate activity hubs: People, Pictures, Games, Music & Video, MarketPlace and Office.

Other features will include GPS with mapping and turn-by-turn voice navigation, along with integration between Facebook and Microsoft Outlook that will let users navigate Facebook pages from within Outlook.

Three Developer Models
The initial Asus model running WP7 has a tablet shape with a minimalistic design. It has two cameras, though, one front facing.

Samsung's first Windows Phone 7 model also has a tablet shape, and its design includes lots of chrome.

LG's has a sliding landscape oriented keyboard, but is still be just a bit thicker than an iPhone. It has a trackpad below its touchscreen, and also sports a front-facing camera.

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