Microsoft says to bring full power of web to phones

Feb 14, 2011 by Richard Lein
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks duringthe 3GSM World congress in Barcelona. Microsoft announced Monday an Internet-friendly revamp of its Windows Phone operating system to help capture new territory in the smartphone wars.

Microsoft announced Monday an Internet-friendly revamp of its Windows Phone operating system to help capture new territory in the smartphone wars.

Microsoft chief unveiled a series of improvements this year to , which got a major boost last week when it was adopted by leading handphone maker Nokia.

The software titan is struggling far behind Google's hugely popular Android system and desperate to replicate some of its success in the Microsoft-dominated personal computer market.

"We need to give people the full web, the full Internet on their phone, like they've come to expect with the PC," Ballmer said at the mobile industry's annual get-together in Barcelona.

"Later this year we are going to release a version of 9 (web browser) complete with hardware and graphics and other hardware acceleration for the Windows Phone," he added.

"The web in some senses was designed for the PC first -- we need to make it a first class citizen on the phone," he added.

Together with a free update for Windows Phone 7, which was released just four months ago, the company aims to provide a smoother web experience on smartphones that rivals surfing on a PC.

A prototype demonstration showed similar performance of moving graphics on a website between a smarthphone and PC.

It had markedly superior performance to other operating systems due to hardware acceleration, with graphics flowing fast and smoothly instead in shuddering slow motion movement.

The updated version of Windows Phone also aims to make a simpler user experience, eliminating the need to launch different applications to complete different tasks.

It will also allow for fuller multitasking, including for the first time with third-party applications -- a key demand from many users of the Windows Phone system.

"Smart tiles" on users main screen will provide useful information, such as a calendar tile showing the time of the next appointment.

"I get at-a-glance needed information without going into the application," said Windows Phone designer Joe Belfiore. "That is smart design for making things simple."

Various "hubs" will automatically group users' items together, such as photos whether they are stored in the phone, on their PC, or posted on their social websites.

Ballmer said the partnership with Nokia, which will see the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer shifting to Windows Phone as its operating system, will help accelerate its adoption.

"Nokia's involvment with Windows Phone will drive volume, innovation of new products, and will accelerate adoption of the Windows Phone platform," said the Microsoft chief.

More than 1.5 million smartphones running on the latest version of Windows Phone, WP7, were shipped in the six weeks after the launch in October but Microsoft's share of the market was only about three percent at the end of the year.

"The Windows Phone platform... will only thrive with scale and variety. As Windows Phone evolves we are going to work with our partners to bring into the platform as rapidly as possible their best innovations, said the chief.

Explore further: Software provides a clear overview in long documents

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft upgrade to let phones connect to Xbox

Feb 14, 2011

(AP) -- Now that it has hooked up with Nokia phones, Microsoft hopes to connect its phone software to the Xbox this year too. It's also planning other improvements that include a faster Web browser and quicker switching ...

Microsoft Announces Windows Mobile 6.5

Feb 17, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- At the Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona, Microsoft officially revealed the new Windows phones featuring new user-friendly software and services. The next generation of Windows phones ...

Recommended for you

Chinese smartphone makers win as market swells

1 hour ago

Chinese smartphone makers racked up big gains as the global market for Internet-linked handsets grew to record levels in the second quarter, International Data Corp said Tuesday.

Full appeals court upholds labels on meat packages

1 hour ago

(AP)—A federal appeals court has upheld new government rules that require labels on packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

Connected devices have huge security holes: study

1 hour ago

The surge Web-connected devices—TVs, refrigerators, thermostats, door locks and more—has opened up huge opportunities for cyberattacks because of weak security, researchers said Thursday.

BlackBerry to buy Germany's Secusmart

2 hours ago

(AP)—German voice and data encryption specialist Secusmart, which helps equip the German government with secure smartphones, says it's being acquired by BlackBerry for an undisclosed sum.

India's Flipkart raises $1 bn to tackle Amazon

3 hours ago

India's top e-commerce company Flipkart said Tuesday it had raised $1 billion (60 billion rupees) in funds as it battles US giant Amazon for supremacy in the hyper-competitive local market.

User comments : 0