Windows Phone 7 to be cloud-connected like Windows Mobile

Windows Phone 7 logoWe already know from leaked documents that Windows Phone 7 will require the use of a Windows Live ID and offer support for various online services. This online integration has now been described in more detail. A key part of the Windows Phone 7 system will be a new Windows Phone Live service.

Windows Phone Live will provide a central place to manage and view data users have shared or created on their phones. For example, photos that have been published to SkyDrive photo albums, calendar items and contacts created on the phone, and OneNote notebooks will all be manageable through Windows Phone Live. The service will also provide access to SkyDrive's 25GB of online storage. Windows Phone Live will also include a Find My Phone service. This will allow lost phones to report their position, and it will provide support for remote lock, ring, and wipe capabilities.

These features might sound familiar to existing Windows Mobile users—the same abilities are available through Microsoft's My Phone service. My Phone offers equivalent capabilities to Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 handsets, though with some small differences: for My Phone, the Find My Phone service is still in beta. Further, the remote lock, ring, and wipe features are all listed as "premium features." Though My Phone doesn't charge for them, they are, notionally, available only on a free trial basis.

It appears that Microsoft has abandoned any intention to charge for these features, as the company says that Windows Phone Live will be a free service for all Windows Phone users.

The Windows Phone Live features are, of course, augmented by Microsoft's other online services that have been previously announced: Windows Phone 7 will integrate Bing search, Zune Marketplace, Xbox Live, and e-mail.

Redmond has also confirmed for the first time the languages that will be available at launch, as well as the countries that will include Marketplace support for paid applications. Windows Phone 7 handsets will initially support English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian. Marketplace purchases will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the United States.

Source: ars technica

Tags: mobile phones, Windows Phone 7

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