The party starts soon! We’re at the venue and about to get going, so tune back in at the times below!
03:30AM – Hawaii
06:30AM – Pacific
07:30AM – Mountain
08:30AM – Central
09:30AM – Eastern
02:30PM – London
03:30PM – Paris
05:30PM – Moscow
10:30PM – Tokyo
9:12AM Okay, we’re sitting down and there’s some funk playing on the sound system… so you know this is going to be good. Hang tight!
9:17AM We just got a quick look at the HTC Surround — there are a lot of devices floating around here right now.
9:23AM Wow, they are playing some seriously hyped up techno funk here. It’s intense.
9:25AM Have you ever been to a rave in 1963? That’s what it’s like at this event. Oh, and with tons of Windows Phone 7 devices.
9:27AM We’ve seen a few folks from Samsung, AT&T and HTC floating around — the partners are definitely present. LG people — holla at us!
9:28AM “Our program will begin in just a few moments… please find a seat.”
9:32AM We just grabbed a few pics of some of the devices here. More to come, we assure you!
9:33AM You’re officially late, Microsoft.
9:37AM “Ladies and gentlemen, our presentation will begin in just one minute.” That’s pretty specific.
9:39AM Music and lights are fading… here we go. “Welcome to MSFT’s open house…” Steve Ballmer is out!
9:40AM “Thanks and welcome everyone — we are very pleased you would spend time with us, and that we get a chance to share the new Windows Phones with you. I’ve been looking forward to this for… some time!”
9:40AM “You’ll see that we’ve built a different kind of a phone with our partners.”
9:40AM “In a sense you could say the differences are as much about not just what you’re going to do with the phone, but how you’re going to do it.”
9:41AM “We’ve focused in on how real people want to use their phones when they’re on the go — we want you to get in, out, and back to life as fast as humanly possible.”
9:41AM “We wanted to make a modern phone, modern in design, modern in its principles. We’ve taken a very different path.”
9:42AM “We hope you’ll see how Windows Phone is different. We want to focus on two things: always delightful, and wonderfully mine.” That sounds slightly creepy. Just slightly.
9:42AM “We wanted it to be that way for the consumer and the developers. We wanted the Windows Phone to be always delightful for you, whether you’re looking for a place to eat, reading mail, catching up with friends… or making a phone call, for example.”
9:43AM “We also wanted these to be wonderfully mine, or yours, or yours, or the next person. Here’s my phone, the way I’ve made it wonderfully mine. My photos, my email, my start screen, my activities, my world… and of course, my avatar.”
9:43AM Hmm… took a little while for the avatar to appear. But sure enough, it’s Steve.
9:44AM Whoa, hardware just appeared. We think. Something psychedelic just happened.
9:45AM “We’ll have 9 phones available when WP ships in November, from HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell…. you’ll see phones with keyboards, phones for music, very large screens, and of course, ruggedized for the hardest user… like this Dell device.”
9:46AM “The range of things that people will do with these devices — and they are beautiful — we think it’s important to have wonderful devices.”
9:46AM “We’ll also have 60 mobile operators around the world, offering these phones in more than 30 countries.”
9:46AM “With that I’m going to turn things over to Ralph de la Vega of AT&T.”
9:47AM Ralph is out… to rock.
9:47AM “Thank you, and congratulations. This is an exciting day for both companies, and it’s exciting for customers as we prepare to launch a breakthrough platform.”
9:48AM “MSFT and AT&T have a long history of working together… we’ve had our share of skeptics, but our job is anticipating customer needs. Here we go again, ready to make history with Windows Phone 7. At AT&T we know a thing or two about smartphones, we offer the widest choice, we’ve seen our share of OS designs and plans.”
9:48AM “We knew this was going to be a winner, it’s an awesome experience.”
9:49AM “MSFT has made the interface fun and fast — and our network will only get faster and better as we move toward 4G.”
9:49AM “On November 8th we’ll be launching not one, two, but three devices on AT&T.”
9:50AM Oooh, the LG Quantum’s full QWERTY looks promising.
9:50AM The Quantum will be $199.99.
9:51AM Next up, HTC Surround — 16GB of onboard storage, 5MP camera, and two Dolby Surround Sound speakers. “You have got to hear this.” Priced at $199.99.
9:51AM “Finally the Samsung Focus — Super AMOLED screen, Snapdragon CPU, 8GB onboard storage…” Priced at… surprise! $199.99
9:52AM Samsung Focus is on the 8th… the other two phones “a few weeks later.”
9:52AM “We’re announcing Uverse Mobile for Windows Phone 7 customers, and if you don’t have Uverse, we’re going to let you do that nationwide on any Windows Phone for a low monthly fee.”
9:53AM “Steve, again, congratulations… thank you!”
9:53AM Steve is back.
9:54AM “I talked about WP7, it’s not just what you do, but how you do it. In, out, back to life. There’s no way to bring it out for you than to do a demo — Joe Belfiore from Microsoft… Joe.”
9:54AM Joe is out.
9:55AM “Happy to be here and walk you through the final software. When we set out to make Windows Phone 7, we wanted to figure out how to build a phone that simplifies the basics and makes getting the things you need to get done easier.”
9:55AM “We created a smart design to make getting things done easy, but we also created Windows Phone Hubs… we think it’s going to make it easier and faster for people to use.”
9:57AM “I’m going to show you a demo… our idea of smart design starts on the lock screen. You can see your next calendar appointment. When I pan this up to unlock you see the WP start experience. We have 3 hardware buttons, consistent on all phones… as I pan down you see these live tiles are lighting up with info. You see my Xbox Live avatar down there, the pictures hub is customized with my pics. These tiles are live… I don’t have to go in and out of applications.” There’s a Twitter icon here on the tiles.
9:58AM “We mean for people to be able to do this in a natural way. Let’s take an example. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Steve, I’ll have to pay more attention to my personal life soon, so goodbye Steve, and now I can move my wife up in that spot.” So, you can delete and move tiles. Finally.
9:59AM “You saw up there I have twin daughters… I want a phone that can take great pictures. So I turn my phone off, it’s in my pocket. I don’t have much time to get a picture of my kids. I pull it out of my pocket, press the camera button, and there I have my picture.”
10:00AM “Right in the camera I can flip over to my pictures and share them with my friends. We try and connect to cloud services in an interesting way — I can set my phone up to automatically upload pics I take immediately to the cloud.”
10:01AM “We’re excited about the camera experience, we’re excited about smart design — we’re trying to rethink the design in a way that’s about people.”
10:02AM “Let’s talk about some more intense tasks, like email.” Joe is walking through WP7 email, pretty straightforward stuff — we looked at this in our preview, and it doesn’t seem to have changed much.
10:02AM Joe is showing an email from Steve with a PowerPoint doc attached — he’s opened it up on the phone. Looks pretty darn slick.
10:03AM “These capabilities are not just limited to looking at content, but editing as well. The Office capabilities that are built in are unique and incredibly powerful.”
10:05AM Text entry demo… “When you think about text entry you think about smart design, great software, great hardware… I’m just going to start typing as fast as I can…” So pretty fast typing from Joe with only one mistake — “How do you deal with making a mistake?” Joe went back to fix a mistyped word but missed… then retyped. WP7 gives you some options for word selection, which is nice (instead of forcing a correction).
10:06AM “We wanted to make sure we offered Outlook integration on this phone. Here’s a meeting invitation… at TGI Fridays.” Some laughs here.
10:06AM “Right in this email it’s looking at if I have a calendar conflict or not.” That’s nice.
10:07AM “In this case, the dinner conflicts with a conference call, now that I can see it in the calendar it gives me context. And there’s even more things we’re trying to do to make it helpful. Imagine I’m running late, I can click on an event and we have a one touch ‘I’ll be late’ button.”
10:08AM Hot links to addresses jump to Bing Maps, of course.
10:09AM Joe is showing off Bing directions — looks like there’ll be walking and driving directions. No mass transit!? Why Joe, why?
10:10AM “So I think we should eat somewhere local, I want to find a different place. We thought that using your phone to find stuff in the real world with a dedicated button is important. So I’m going to push the search button, and it already says NY.”
10:10AM “I start typing and the Bing backend makes suggestions.” In case you’re wondering, yes, Joe is flying through these demos and jumping around a lot.
10:12AM Integrated reviews in Bing is nice. Joe is finally dialing in the right Thai restaurant to take Steve Ballmer to.
10:14AM “This is smart design. There are lots of things that we tried to do well with Bing. We have something called instant answers — we wanted to reduce that down to one click. So I can press and hold start, you just talk to the phone, and it’s sent to the server using our TellMe service.” Oh whoops! “Can’t access Bing”
10:14AM “I’m going to try it again… I’m feeling brave. It can be tricky with a cellphone in a crowded room…” It worked! Cheers here.
10:15AM Pretty slick — by speaking the name of an airline and flight number it nabbed the flight times via Bing.
10:15AM “Now I want to talk about Windows Phone Hubs. There are 6, and they center around different tasks.”
10:15AM Ah, the People Hub.
10:16AM Quick access to posting on a contact’s wall on Facebook. Heavy Facebook integration here, but not much talk about any other social networking services.
10:17AM Ha! Aaron Woodman’s pic is from the Engadget Show in Joe’s contact list.
10:18AM “I can see all of my contacts aggregated together. The People Hub idea is that it brings together everyone you care about.”
10:20AM Joe is going through the pictures hub now — you can automatically post a comment from the photo hub on Facebook.
10:20AM “Now I want to talk about Office. The first thing you see is OneNote, if I pan over here are my saved documents, and if I pan over again, this is my SharePoint area. These documents I’ve saved from SharePoint onto my phone.”
10:22AM “So if I navigate to Windows Live, you can see my OneNote notebook.” It syncs notes to the cloud, and to the OneNote app on a PC.
10:22AM “Next up, music and videos… we wanted to do this in a way that helps people get to music and videos with as few clicks as possible… lately I’ve been playing the Black Eyed Peas a lot…” Noooooooooooooo.
10:24AM “I’ve also been subscribing to a lot of podcasts, I’m a fan of the Ted Talks, and when there’s new content a tile shows up here. We’re also allowing third-party apps to integrate into the Music hub. It’s not just what we build into the phone, but what our partners build.” Unclear here whether Slacker (which was in the hub) can do streaming in the background here. We assume that opens potential for Pandora streaming?
10:25AM Joe just got turned onto Phoenix… he must have really been working hard on Windows Phone 7.
10:26AM “So I mentioned that third parties can integrate into the hubs… but I wanted to talk about developers. We have terrific dev tools, and literally hundreds of thousands of devs have downloaded these tools. Here’s an eBay app.” Wow, this looks really nice.
10:26AM “The eBay app is using controls so that it fits into the Windows Phone experience. We want it to be easy for end users but also devs. Now I’m going to show you two more.”
10:27AM “Here’s IMDB, I like going to the movies, renting… I’m super excited about this. It should feel incredibly familiar.” This is a really handsome looking app — totally adheres to the Metro UI.
10:27AM Very impressive integration from the IMDB app.
10:28AM “And the third app is AT&T Uverse Mobile. We want out partners to do meaningful differentiation. Elegant coexistence. Here’s featured content, all shows… I can do a search.” Wow, this is pretty exciting. A very slick looking media app.
10:29AM “I can download and start watching…” Unclear if that means this is non-streaming, download only? We sure hope not.
10:29AM “Last up, the games hub.”
10:30AM “When I come into the games hub, I have two invited to play backgammon with someone. I can accept one of these invites, or I can go play a game. One of the things we’ve tried to do was make this a complete experience… I just tapped my avatar, and now I’m running an app called Xbox Live Extras… so I’m going to go in here and change my style.”
10:31AM “I can go in and add an earring… here’s my avatar with an earring. It makes the gaming experience more fun. You can earn prizes. I’ve played enough to earn an MTV Moon Man award. It helps connect people to each other, these are publicly visible.”
10:32AM “I know you’re going to be curious to see some games… I have a couple to show you. I’m going to switch games because some of these have a start up time that I don’t want to show in the demo.” That’s odd… how long do these take to launch?
10:33AM Joe is showing off Ilo and Milo. “This is real 3D. This will be available exclusively on AT&T phones…” Whoa, that is weird.
10:34AM Now Joe is showing the Sims 3 for WP7. Yep, it’s Sims 3.
10:35AM “So, that is my demo, before I leave I want to add a little information about a feature… our phones support updates and so our phones can be updated. I wanted to announce today we’ve heard feedback, and early in 2011 we’re going to add copy and paste. Everyone who buys a phone now will get that update.”
10:35AM Steve is back!
10:36AM “I want to hear from the people who are making these devices and this hardware, so let’s hear from them.” Ooh, a video.
10:37AM “With Windows Phone 7, we have the best that all of Microsoft can bring.” That’s Dell, folks.
10:37AM Peter Chou is onscreen… and in the seat just in front of us. He’s psyched about Windows Phone 7. “This is a very competitive product…” Yes, competitive with your other products.
10:38AM “Samsung has a long history of a tight partnership with Microsoft.”
10:38AM “We think WP7 will be a game changer for Microsoft.”
10:38AM Steve is back.
10:39AM “There you have it. The Windows Phone is a different kind of phone. Always delightful, wonderfully personal, and will help you get in, out, and back to life.”
10:39AM “We encourage you to get your hands on these devices. Thanks to all our partners, thanks to all you here today. Have a great day!”
10:39AM And we’re out… time for some hands-on!