T-Mobile TV premieres on first Windows Phone 7 device


T-Mobile USA introduced the HTC HD7, its first smartphone running Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 operating system, promising a rich entertainment experience highlighted by a series of preloaded multimedia applications including the new T-Mobile TV service. The HD7 boasts a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, touted by T-Mobile USA as the largest screen available on a WP7 device issued in the U.S., complemented by high-quality sound and a built-in kickstand. The operator will pre-install a series of entertainment applications, most notably T-Mobile TV, which offers live and on-demand programming from broadcasters including ABC, Fox, PBS and Azteca America; mobile broadcast solutions provider MobiTV will power the subscription-based service, priced at $9.99.

Other preloaded HD7 apps include Netflix (offering streaming services spanning thousands of feature films), Slacker Radio (free, personalized radio across more than 130 genre-specific stations), Xbox Live (connecting consumers to more than 25 million gamers worldwide) and Zune (for downloading music, movies, TV shows and podcasts).

Along with its entertainment features, the HTC HD7 boasts the TeleNav GPS Navigator turn-by-turn solution and the new T-Mobile Family Room, an application featuring a "virtual chalkboard" enabling family members to share information and coordinate get-togethers. Also included: Fully integrated Microsoft Exchange e-mail and calendar as well as Office Hub, Internet Explorer 8, 16 GB of internal memory, HD video recording and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash. T-Mobile USA is expected to begin shipping the HD7 in mid-November.

Microsoft officially unveiled Windows Phone 7 on Monday morning. In addition to HTC, Microsoft will team with manufacturers Dell, Samsung and LG, offering an initial wave of nine Windows Phone 7 smartphones in all--more than 60 carriers worldwide will offer devices running the new OS, with AT&T (NYSE:T) releasing three WP7 devices (the LG Quantum, Samsung Focus and HTC Surround) in the U.S.

Microsoft first announced Windows Phone 7 in mid-February during the annual Mobile World Congress event. Promising an experience distinguished by a more user-friendly design, Windows Phone 7 includes a series of "hubs" integrating related content from the web, applications and services. Microsoft issued Windows Phone 7 to manufacturers on Sept. 1. Writing on the Windows Phone Blog, Windows Phone Engineering corporate vice president Terry Myerson said WP7 is the most thoroughly tested mobile platform that Microsoft has ever released--in addition to nearly 10,000 devices running automated tests daily, the OS was subjected to more than 500,000 hours of active self-hosting use, more than 3.5 million hours of stress test passes and 8.5 million hours of fully automated test passes.

Despite Microsoft's commitment, Windows Phone 7 has so far struggled to attract the interest of mobile developers. Microsoft earlier this year confirmed it is offering financial incentives to stir interest in Windows Phone, with senior director of mobile services and developer product management Todd Brix telling Bloomberg the company is providing everything from free tools and trial handsets to software development funding, even offering revenue guarantees in the event apps fail to sell as expected.

The absence of developer enthusiasm notwithstanding, Windows Phone 7 can't arrive soon enough for Microsoft: Its existing Windows Mobile operating system continues to fall out of favor among consumers, now representing 11.8 percent of the U.S. smartphone market--down from 14 percent just three months ago--according to recent data published by digital measurement firm comScore. Windows Mobile lags far behind Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry (39.3 percent of the U.S. smartphone market), Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS (23.8 percent) and Google's Android (17 percent, up 5 percentage points over April 2010).

For more on the HTC HD7:
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