Windows Phone 7 Launch Details

Check back throughout the day today for updates on the New Zealand launch date and devices

WP7_CTA I was looking for one thing out of the Windows Phone 7 launch announcement. It wasn’t the phones, or the dates, or the prices, I was looking for a commitment to updates — frequent updates universal to devices and carriers. And I got it: Microsoft announced an update to support copy-and-paste in early 2011.

Yes, you may laugh now.

Seriously though. Ignoring the fact that copy-and-paste should have been an integral part of the OS, the update story is excellent. What other phone platform has a commitment to regular updates that cannot be blocked by carrier or OEM? I’ll help you out: iPhone. Android’s downfall has been its willingness to allow OEMs to shit all over users by holding back updates so they can implement more crapware. Sony Ericsson is case in point: they’ve just pushed back their Android 2.1 release again, leaving users on Android 1.6.

This will not happen with Windows Phone 7. You get to have your cake (choose any phone with WP7 on it), and eat it too (get updates at the same time they are released). Bloody brilliant.

New Zealand Details

Windows Phone 7 will be launched in New Zealand on the 21st of October. We’ll be the first in the world to have it, and I’m hoping this means some midnight launch shenanigans.

Based on the launch phones, I’m guessing the Vodafone “worldwide” HTC 7 Trophy might land in New Zealand. It looks good, but I’m a bit concerned by the 8GB internal storage. If it doesn’t have microSD expansion, I’ll wait to see what other options we have.

Update: According to this site (no attributed source), these are the HTC phones coming to New Zealand:

  • HTC HD7 will be exclusively available with Telecom New Zealand.
  • HTC 7 Trophy will be exclusively available with Vodafone in Australia and New Zealand

Update 3: Oops. HTC just got in touch to correct that source: “At this point, the HTC HD7 will not be available with Telecom New Zealand, this device will only be exclusively available with Telstra in Australia

Press Release

Here’s the official NZ press release:
[quote]MUCH ANTICIPATED WINDOWS PHONE 7 LAUNCHES LATE OCTOBER

Kiwis among the first in the world to get Windows Phone 7

New Zealanders will be some of the first in the world to get their hands on the new Windows Phone 7, which goes on sale later this month in line with the global launch.

Microsoft believes the gloves are officially off in the smartphone market with the Windows Phone 7 launch. Mark Bishop, Windows Phone Business Manager at Microsoft New Zealand says Windows    Phone 7 has the smartest of the smarts and Microsoft is set to compete aggressively with other offerings.

“We think the time is right for a different kind of phone – people’s needs and expectations of phones are increasing and there is a great opportunity in the smartphone space to offer a different experience. We have built a phone for people that don’t want to live on their phones, but rather have phones that help them live their lives, doing more in less steps. The lines between our work and home lives have blurred – Windows Phone 7 will deliver an innovative set of features for social networking, entertainment and marry those with our traditional strengths in messaging and productivity.”

Windows Phone 7 is designed to bring together what customers care about most, quickly and easily through the ‘glance and go’ functionality.

Key features of Windows Phone 7 include:

• The only smartphone with Hubs and Live Tiles that update on the Start screen so you can see all the information you care about at a glance

• Making it easier and faster to find popular features such as pictures, music, games and information about friends and family

• Combining basic every-day tasks like Search, taking pictures, interacting with contacts or managing email to do more in fewer steps

• The first phone to have one button to Bing, Xbox LIVE, Office, Internet Explorer Mobile and the Zune experience all built in

The Windows Phone 7 will be launched initially on the Vodafone network, making them Microsoft’s premier partner for launch

Vodafone’s GM of Business Marketing, Becky Lloyd says, “We are delighted to be working with Microsoft to launch this fantastic new smartphone to New Zealanders and to be Microsoft’s premier partner for launch. The combination of Windows Phone 7 with our smart network is going to provide an exciting smartphone experience for our customers.”

More than 1,700 people have downloaded the developer tools for building applications for the Windows Phone 7 in New Zealand. Gavin Jones, Senior Developer at Enlighten Designs says the Windows Phone 7 is a fantastic and easy platform to develop applications on.

“I am really excited about the fact it seems such a simple platform to design and develop applications – the tools are easy to use and Microsoft has leveraged a lot of its existing technology. It is also fantastic to see that the design tools are free to download, and having the local Microsoft New Zealand team to talk to and ask questions has made it a lot easier to get involved and make our mark on the Windows Phone 7.”

Vodafone is launching with the HTC 7 Trophy. The phones can be purchased as part of a Vodafone pricing plan, or alternatively, Prepay customers can buy handsets for $899.

Windows Phone 7 plans on Vodafone start from $40.85 per month (includes 30 minutes of calls, 300 texts and up to 250Mb of data) with the handset priced at $799. To get a Windows Phone 7 for under $500, customers can sign up to the $81.75 monthly plan which includes 120 minutes, 600 texts and up to 250Mb of data.

For more information visit www.vodafone.co.nz/windowsphone, call into a Vodafone Store, talk to your Vodafone Business consultant or Account manager for more details, or visitwww.windowsphone.co.nz.[/quote]
And another press release from Gen-i:”
[quote]MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF THE WINDOWS PHONE 7

Windows Phone 7 is designed to bring together what customers care about most, quickly and easily through the ‘glance and go’ functionality. This is a phone for people that don’t want to live on their phones, but rather have phones that help them live their lives, doing more in less steps.

Key features of Windows Phone 7 include:

• The only smartphone with Hubs and Live Tiles that update on the Start screen so you can see all the information you care about at a glance

• Making it easier and faster to find popular features such as pictures, music, games and information about friends and family

• Combining basic every-day tasks like Search, taking pictures, interacting with contacts or managing email to do more in fewer steps

• The first phone to have one button to Bing, Xbox LIVE, Office, Internet Explorer Mobile and the Zune experience all built in

“The Windows Phone 7 will be one of the leading smartphone operating systems, giving users a mobile internet experience about as close to an integrated computer as they can get,” says Chris Quin, CEO Gen-i Australasia.  “As a long-term Microsoft Gold Certified Partner across unified communications, software, services and licensing, we are excited by the potential to help our clients leverage this capability to develop converged solutions that combine fixed and mobile technologies to help address the key challenges business face.

“We are already getting a lot of interest from clients in Windows Phone 7 and are currently taking pre-orders for a November delivery of our new LG Optimus 7Q Windows Phone 7 device.”

For more information visit www.gen-i.co.nz or talk to your Gen-i client manager for more details. Or visit www.windowsphone.co.nz.

— Ends —[/quote]

Apps? We Got Apps.

The inevitable app store (called the Windows Mobile Marketplace) is in-force, with an interesting collection of launch apps announced. A lot of these are specific to the USA, but expect to see a hell of a lot more apps rolling out before launch day.

Elsewhere

Engadget has an epic rundown of all the news, including hands-on photos with most of the worldwide launch devices.

If you want to read the full press release including a list of available phones, here it is.

Join the Conversation

21 Comments

  1. There’s an HTC press release quoted on Engadget that gives the same info about a NZ for the HD7 and Trophy – it’d be nice if we got some of the other devices as well but we’re used to that by now.

    Hopefully the NZ version of the Windows Phone Portal will be updated some time this year (it’s still raving about WM6.5)

  2. Is that an official WP7 account or just Paul Spain again?

    The HTC press release was notably vague about timing for New Zealand.

  3. My understanding is that the Win7 mobiles will sync with the Zune software, in a manner similar to the iPhone and iTunes. Do you know if there are any plans to make Mac support for this phone better than the current Zune solution of “use virtualization software”?

    1. You probably heard, but there was a “rogue tweet” by a Microsoft employee promising Zune support for Mac “soon”. It has since been deleted.

  4. I was looking forward to WP7, but after reading the disadvantage and limitations of the OS by a review done on gsmarena im out, sorry Microsoft. but good luck competing.

    1. Ok i found the articlel, i am not sure if you read the whole article but to quote from them

      “You can see we’ve got a really long list of disadvantages up there, but Apple iOS and Google Android had even longer ones at launch – not to mention the superior hardware that WP7 debuts on. It’s also good to know that Microsoft engineers are already working hard on fixing those up in further updates to the OS by 2011”

  5. It’s a shame Telecom aren’t launching the HD7 at the same time, the Trophy looks like one of the less impressive phones launched today.
    I now have to decide whether to wait (which would probably not be a good idea from a dev standpoint, I really do need to buy a device as soon as I can).

    1. When are Telecom launching the HD7? It looks like a much better phone than the Trophy.

  6. So New Zealand only gets 2 phones? The low memory HTC Trophy and sometime next month the LG slider? Very poor. Will have to see if I can import. Looks like Amazon will be selling unlocked phones.

  7. After looking at Android devices at vodafone.co.nz, specs and prices, I got an idea that HTC 7 Trophy is set to compete with Androids and not the iPhone.
    But even then why would someone want to buy HTC 7 Trophy if they can get a better speced Android for about the same price.
    I think this is a poor launch and positioning for WP7. At the moment it’s just another average smartphone.
    I guess it will be a slow start for WP7, the first wave of users will be Microsoft employees and developers, the rest will follow later when there are more apps available and better phones. If this is true then it’s fine, I have time to get into the app development before the prime time 🙂 Frankly, I expected a stronger start for WP7.

    Steve if you import you have to pay the full price for the device. iPhone 4 deals at Vodafone are great, almost 50% off on a $40 plan. I wonder why Microsoft can’t do a similar deal.

    I don’t know what to do now, I wanted a smartphone and a WP7 device for development.
    Option 1 by HTC 7 Trophy for $800.
    Option 2 buy an iPhone 4 for $619 and follow Nigel Parker until he leaves his WP7 unattended at the bar.
    Hard decisions to make.

    1. I’m probably going to have to buy a Trophy on day one as I need to test some location based code on an app I’m writing (for the NZ app contest). I’m resigned to it being the only real option in the short term.

      From what I have read on Engadget and others it may be possible to expand the storage on the Trophy using a class 4 micro SD card. If someone has a Trophy please can they let me know if it has an internal micro sd slot.

  8. Does anyone know if the Zune player will be updated to match WP7 similar to iPod Touch being a little brother of the iPhone?

  9. Hmmm.. Trophy looks OK spec wise, about the same as Nexus, but that 1300 mAH battery with the big screen is a bit of a concern.

    Still, at least it’s swappable.

  10. Looking at the spec sheets, it would be awesome if VFNZ had the HTC Desire HD and HD7.

    Then you’d have the choice of basically the same phone running Android or WP7.

    🙂

  11. I’m dissapointed by the 8GB, but i can live with it, just. Apart from that, the HTC Trophy looks competitive spec wise, and the RAM and colour depth (24 bit) will make it look and perform well. Battery life will be interesting one.

    I honestly didn’t think I would give up my iPhone 3GS when i got back from Mix 10 in March 2010. But having used a proto device for the last couple of months along with ditching iTunes and using the Zune software on Windows, I’m so looking forward to getting WP7 on a real device.

    The only thing i will miss is Skype (VOIP) in general, everything else is pretty much a joy.

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