Welcome the new Windows Phone 7 Series!

That’s it folks Windows Mobile 7 or should I say Windows Phone 7 series is officially announced. First thing that comes to mind is that nearly all of the rumors were just totally false (the WM7 business and media editions etc..) and what I and PPCGeeks received last week end was actually 100% true.

The Windows Phone 7 series UI looks nearly identical to the Zune HD UI. It features the same basic visual architecture and flow. Microsoft has finally decided to scrap the start button etc… The whole thing has the same pivoting gesture as the Zune : swipe your finger left to right to go deeper into you contacts, music, videos etc…. The OS also only support capacitive touchscreen with a minimum of 4 finger multi-touch input. Gone is the stylus…

Bing Maps is also now fully integrated into the OS. If you have an address in a mail or a contact card Bing Maps (silverlight?) will open when you tap on it. Bing search is also fully integrated now and every native app uses the same UI cues and functionality as the Zune HD.

Joe Belfiore then talk about the 5 Hubs that Microsoft is integrating into Windows Phone 7 Series. The first one is People Hub which agregates all your contacts info (from Facebook, Live etc) into one place:

The Pictures Hub acts like the People hub by aggregating pictures from your social networks and PC into one place:

Then we have the Office hub is basically Office Mobile with a new UI:

Then comes the Video + Music Hub which is basically Zune HD on your Phone and as Joe BElfiore said:”Every Windows Phone 7 series phone is going to be a Zune”:

Finally here comes the Xbox Live hub (that we knew was coming thanks to MS’s job ads). Xbox Live is now fully integrated into WP7 and you will have access to XBL games and even multi player games with PC and XBOX 360 users:

One of the most interesting part was when Andrew Lees announced the OEMs who worked on WP7. nVidia is totally missing from the picture (same for TI). Qualcomm seems to be the bigger winner here, so you can probably expect a whole lot of WP7 phones to be based on Qualcomm SoCs.

Microsoft also reiterated the fact that OEMS will be able to customise the phones but not in the same way as they did on WM6.X. Gone is TouchFLO, TouchWIZ etc….And no flash support at first, but Adobe is working on it.

The First Windows Phone 7 Series handset will start shipping at the end of the year in time for the holidays.

That’s it for now… will try to grab some hands-on footage now….

For the ime being check out the official Windows Phone 7 Series website here