Is Windows Phone 7 really launching today ?

I don’t think that I’ve ever posted a “rant” here before but I think that today’s a good day to do so. As you have probably heard, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 retail launch is supposedly taking place today in Europe and Asia. Things aren’t looking good thought and I’m going to try to give you the low-down on what is going on.

First let’s talk about the so called “reviews” posted late last night. A number of websites, blogs ,journalists were handed out Windows Phone 7 loaners after the Oct 11 launch event to write up their Windows Phone 7 reviews for today’s launch. Frankly I’m still scratching my head here and wondering what that thing was all about. Only one single review was really worth reading IMO and ironically it was done by a non-gadget/mobile website but by the highly respectable AnandTech. But the vast majority were just rehashs of what we already knew about the OS without much thought put behind them (tho… love it or hate it Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky had some really good points in his write up…) BTW, where are the non UK/US reviews? Isn’t the product launching all over Europe and Asia TODAY (and only in 2 weeks in the US)? Why didn’t non-English speaking websites get loaner devices too? My case is a bit different thought, the site is in English with 90% of my readers coming from the US but I’m located in France so I was bound to be screwed anyway lol. But still, I don’t understand why no marketing or PR effort was done outside of the US/UK ….I’ve also noticed websites posting what I would call “fake reviews” based on hands-on impressions. If you see a review that doesn’t contain any camera sample (photos/videos) and only videos/photos shot during past events (like the launch event on Oct 11) then you know that something isn’t right. 

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Adobe Reader and YouTube plugin for Windows Phone 7 released

Adobe’ PDF reader for Windows Phone 7 and the YouTube plug-in have now been released on the Zune Marketplace. For what I can see the Adobe Reader is not the one that was announced a few days ago (I’m guessing that the X version will come later this year) but should get the job done. On the other had the YouTube Plug-in (yeah I’m not callingthis an app..) will probably disappoint some users. As previously seen this plug-in allows YouTube content embedded in web-pages, mails and sms to be played back in the native WP7 video player (and then integrate recentlyviewedvideos in the music & video hub).Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be a full blown YouTube application (to watch non-embedded YouTube videos the user will have to navigate to the mobile.YouTube site with the IE browser..).