Want to see what Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 has to offer, but you just don't to drag yourself down to a local Verizon or AT&T store? You're in luck, as the Redmond company has devised of a way for potential customers to sample the new OS using an Android or iOS-based device without forcing users to install a demo app.
By heading to http://aka.ms/wpdemo on a mobile device, consumers can load up an HTML5-based version of the Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" operating system. Everything essentially works without pulling data off the user's phone, offering a taste of the platform's major hubs including Phone, People, Messaging, Outlook, Calendar, Family and so on.
To make navigation easy for newbies, a blue dot serves as a makeshift tour guide, demonstrating how the major features work -- like reading and "liking" Facebook feeds, answering calls, sending text messages and so on -- by inviting users to interact. The demo presumably feels like an actual Windows Phone 7 device, sliding screens left, right, up and down rather fluently.
Ultimately each Metro hub serves as its own little individual demo, and when completed, users are asked if they want to return to the main menu, or shop for phones.
But will it sell any phones? That's a good question, as the Metro interface looked better in the Android browser than it did in Apple's Safari. Still, hopeful Windows Phone 7 consumers should test-drive an actual handset rather than experience a semi-accurate taste on non-WP7 devices.