Upcoming: Windows Mobile 7

January 16, 2008

Multitouch next step for Microsoft?





Microsoft is currently developing Windows Mobile 7, the first revolutionary change to its mobile device operating system. Recently, I was given a document by a source inside Microsoft that details the touch and gesture plans for Mobile 7. This document is a confidential internal use only document, used to explain the plans for Mobile 7, and contains well over a hundred pages of designs, ideas, and changes to the way we interact with our mobile devices.

Below, you’ll find over 3,000 words detailing my notes from the document. I can’t publish the document here, at least not until after the product is announced, to protect my sources. I will provide the document to trusted journalists in order to share and show proof of this information. If there is anything I leave out, please don’t hesitate to ask and I will try to provide a screenshot or answer.

The document appears to be from the past summer, and some of the details may change before the product is announced. However, the touch and gesture plans appear to be set in stone, and will be the focus of Windows Mobile 7.

Gestures shown include in music or a slideshow, shaking the phone left or right to go to the previous or next song or photo, and shaking the phone in order to shuffle it. Here’s an image, which may only be a mockup, or it is showing us what Windows Media Player will look like on Windows Mobile 7, as well as the picture viewer:


As you see, Media Player has an emphasis on album art along with other cool visual elements. Also notice the ever-present battery and signal strength indicators have been placed inside the soft key buttons at the bottom of the screen, saving screen real estate and making them a lot cooler.

Another gesture: When pressing the directional pad down in a full-screen media application, such as a photo application, you can move the device forward and backward to zoom in and out of the image.

The web browser will incorporate gestures for back and forward actions. Here’s an image:


Notice the differences in Internet Explorer. The interface is simpler and much nicer, with just an address bar and go button, the web page is a desktop version, just like on the iPhone, and the browser has tabbed browsing, used by gesturing through a series of graphical thumbnails. This is very impressive.

An example of the screen showing a transition from the device being asleep to awake:


As you see, it’s a very nice and detailed, but subtle graphical transition. Microsoft never cared about transitions before, but it looks like Windows Mobile 7 will be different.

There’s also a part talking about allowing the user to “doodle” on the screen (their word, not mine), letting users draw doodles on the device lock screen, as well as shake the screen to affect the wallpaper (like making water run, or blurring an image). The iPhone’s lock screen is an iconic part of the device, and Microsoft wants to have a cool lock screen without copying Apple, so the plan is to give you fun things to do on the lock screen.

Here’s a screenshot of Outlook’s inbox:


Also shown is flicking and swiping through an unnamed maps application, based on Windows Live Maps, and flicking based on the velocity of the user’s finger. Other types of finger gestures include the use of spinners and sliders, and unrestricted omni-directional movement.

A screenshot of panning in the maps application:


Those arrows on the sides of the screen are shown as being used in all applications

Above entry taken from here

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