Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Hits ‘Technical Preview’ Milestone

Image showing Windows Phone 7 calendar screenshot

Image showing screenshot of Windows Phone 7 calendar app

Windows Phone 7 news is continuing to stir as some sites have been able to get their hands on test units that are running software nearing final build. Today, Microsoft announced on its Windows Team Blog that it has hit another milestone in Windows Phone 7 development – something it is calling “technical preview.” What this means is that the software has hit a point where Microsoft believes that it is just about ready for normal, everyday use.

If there was any doubt about Microsoft’s preparedness for the launch of its new software, perhaps this might shed a little light on the situation:

Before release of this milestone, the software has undergone extensive testing – in daily use by more than 1000 people at Microsoft who have been using WP7 as their only phone for the past several months, and the more than 10,000 devices in our test labs. We’ve been testing usability, battery life, network connectivity, and many other metrics for a long time. As a result of that work, I hope you will find the experience to be of surprisingly high quality.

The mobile space is where tech companies really need to thrive in order to survive and stay competitive. Microsoft knows that. That 1,000 people at the company have been using WP7 as a primary device for quite some time and the inclusion of 10,000 test devices in its labs show that rumors of a current bare-bones state just isn’t true. After seeing Windows Mobile dwindle into oblivion, and watching the KIN handsets vanish before they really made an appearance, Microsoft has to be sure that its WP7 software and the devices on which it appears are perfect.

Microsoft has already teamed up with long time hardware partners LG and Samsung to build the chassis required for WP7, and we all know that those manufacturers are sometimes capable of producing some amazing devices. It’s easy to get excited for the applications being produced by developers who have been coddled by the software giant. Add the Zune, Xbox and Silverlight runtime capabilities and it begins to sound like a serious contender against the likes of Apple and Google.

The folks at Redmond are clearly taking cues from companies that it has lambasted in the past, and the result looks like it will be a very bare-bones operating system once WP7 launches. Unfortunately, it might suffer some serious criticism at the start, but one can hope that it would only mean that there is a solid foundation on which to build a lasting OS that is a result of user wants and needs.

[Via: Windows Team Blog]

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