Windows Phone 7 is finished. It's officially done and we couldn't be more excited, because despite the fact that Microsoft is still perfectly on time with development of its brand new OS, we feel like we've been waiting forever.
Microsoft first announced Windows Phone 7 in March at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. At the time the company told us that we wouldn't be seeing any Windows Phone 7 smartphones in shops until at least the fall. Though we were promised the first round in time for the holiday season, Microsoft refused to be specific about dates and we've had to rely on rumors that say we'll see the first in September or October to get us through the long, hot summer.
It's still not clear if we'll see the first Windows Phone 7 device this month, or even next. However, what is clear is the operating system is complete. Microsoft this week said that Windows Phone 7 has reached RTM (release to manufacturer) status and is now available to OEMs and service provider partners.
"Windows Phone 7 is the most thoroughly tested mobile platform Microsoft has ever released," says Microsoft's Terry Myerson. "We had nearly ten thousand devices running automated tests daily, over a half million hours of active self-hosting use, over three and a half million hours of stress test passes, and eight and a half million hours of fully automated test passes. We’ve had thousands of independent software vendors and early adopters testing our software and giving us great feedback," he continued. "We are ready."
There are some changes to the UI in the finalized version that Microsoft added based on user feedback. Microsoft made the tweaks before they sent it off to OEMs, so expect to see some new features when the phones launch in the fall.