Microsoft revamps Windows Phone 7 to "break the mould" -

As ancitipated, Microsoft rolled out a heap of information about Windows 7  Phone, which as we reported last week, includes reference designs as well as a re-vamped interface.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, said he told his internal team that they had to deliver a different kind of mobile experience, "in a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things". Currently Microsoft holds about 12 percent share in the "crowded" market.

People use most phones to make phone calls or to send text messages, but we suspect Mr Ballmer doesn't mean that at all.  He's talking about companies like Apple with its iPhone, Google with its Android operating system, and all the rest that don't use Windows Mobile software.

For starters, a Windows Phone 7 Series has a dedicated hardware button for Microsoft's search engine, Bing - whether you want it or not.

Microsoft has decided that phones need things called hubs - the categories being people, pictures, games, music/video, marketplace and office.

Microsoft hasn't been particularly successful with its mobile software in the past, but has lined up a heap of carriers including AT&T, Orange, Sprint, Vodafone and others, as well as handset vendors like Dell, HTC, HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm to help it make the Windows Mobile reference designs

They'll be ready by "holiday 2010", by which we presume he doesn't mean Easter, or Whitsuntide, but the end of the year.