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5 Great Things About Windows Phone 7 Series

Yesterday, Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 Series, a new entry in the company's mobile phone strategy. After years of apparently doing absolutely nothing in response to Apple's iPhone and the rise of Android, Microsoft has finally shown off a phone that looks truly competitive. Here is my take on the 5 best things under the hood:

A fresh start. Windows Phone 7 Series is a totally new operating system. Not an incremental upgrade from Windows Mobile 6. Not a new skin on an aging infrastructure. It's new, new, new. From scratch. Make no mistake: That is an awesome thing.

A stunning interface. We judge gadgets by their utility, right? Well, yeah... but if Apple has taught us anything, it's that the interface matters. There were music players before the iPod, but the iPod's interface is what made it ubiquitous. There were smartphones before the iPhone, but its interface made it the dream gadget of everyone from teenagers to business executives. And Microsoft has reset the bar, giving us a glimpse of what the next generation of devices will surely look like.

Synergy Revisited. The Palm Pre showed us what it could be like for a phone to pull down details about our contacts from online sources like Facebook. Windows Phone appears to do much the same; there's no desktop syncing anymore; it all happens over the ether.

Cloud storage. Windows Phone understands cloud storage and will natively interact with online storage to access files -- Microsoft demonstrated this with photos, but it's a short walk to see the value here for business documents.

Games. Admit it; you play games on your iPhone. Well, your Windows Phone will be an extension of your Xbox -- it'll inherit your Xbox's avatar, and games you play on your phone will let you accrue achievements against your Xbox Live account just like at home.

What are your thoughts about the new Microsoft phone? Is it an iPhone or Android killer? Does it appear to have enough business cred to find a place in your pocket? Sound off in the comments.

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