Network World - Information about Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, and on two smartphones using it, continues to emerge, some of it gleaned from hacking, demonstrations and from the growing experience of developers exploring the radically revamped mobile OS.
Coders at XDA-Developers.com hacked the ROM for an un-announced HTC smartphone, called Mondrian, with a Windows Phone 7 software build, though it's still referred to as "Windows Mobile 7". The Mondrian may be destined for AT&T because there is likely outdated reference to the wireless carrier's previous name: Cingular.
Microsoft in April released for developers a new emulator for Windows Phone, based on the latest released build of the underlying operating system.
From the ROM's contents, it appears that Mondrian could sport a big 4.3-inch Wide VGA screen, with the 480-pixel VGA height but a width of 800-854 pixels. HTC already uses WVGA on a range of its smartphones, as the 480x800 HTC HD2.
The ROM also references a faster version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, which is used in a range of high-end smartphones running at 1GHz. The speedier chip runs at 1.3GHz with a 1.5GHz version due out also.
The second phone, though disclosed earlier this year, is from LG, the Panther. Pocket-Lint.com has a series of photos from a U.K. demonstration of the device running Windows Phone 7, though few specific details of the phone were disclosed. The significance is in how the hardware runs the latest build of the operating system. Pocket-Lint's Rik Henderson was impressed with what he saw.
"One stand-out aspect dwelled upon in the demo was intuitive and seamless Facebook integration, with the phone automatically pulling contacts' updates when you access them via the address book," Henderson writes. "They're current status details appear alongside phone number, address, etc."
The software recognized street addresses, then offered one-click access to map locations and details, via Microsoft's Bing search engine. "Every application, including e-mail and text, automatically creates a link for an address," Henderson writes. The built-in Microsoft Zune media player displayed video and played music "quickly and clearly."
Microsoft employees, since the unveiling of the revamped mobile UI in February, have been using unmarked black prototype phones. There's some speculation that LG will be the first to release a WP7 phone, in September, with others expected in October and later.
Microsoft has been secretive about the mobile Web browser that will be part of Windows Phone 7, but again new details are emerging.
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