*What’s up Gadgeteers, I skipped last week, because I knew the introduction of the Windows Phone 7 Series was on the horizon. I had the privilege of watching the Live Press Conference that introduced the new device, and I must say… I’m impressed.

You see, for the last two and half years, Microsoft has been coming up a little short in the phone department, at least. Sure they’ve released a slew of new devices, but none of them can even come close to the easiness of the iPhone, or the popularity for that matter. I started with Windows Mobile 5 and thought it was neat, at the time, (probably because there was nothing to compare it to) but I used it more like a mini-computer than a phone, as did most early adopters.

The thing that Microsoft didn’t plan on was social networking, this concept in itself, changed the way we as humans communicate. As opposed to talking individually through a phone call or a text message, we now have the ability convey our thoughts to a bunch of people at the same time. I bet more people access Facebook everyday than Power Point, or Excel. Thus, Microsoft had to evolve or be left with the fate of total destruction by the competition.

As far as I can tell, the main difference in this phone is its integration with life, as Vice President, Joe Belfiore, often said throughout the presentation “A Phone Is Just Not a PC” so as opposed to applications that run one at time… (i.e. iPhone) everything is integrated.

Microsoft’s big thing now is usability. How to make the phone be apart of one’s life. I do admire this … being an iPhone user, sometimes I find myself staring at the home page, trying to figure out where to go. Kinda overwhelms me when I do it, I have to refocus on where it is I actually wanted to go on the iPhone… I call it iPhoneitus, lol. Microsoft developed Hubs that are basically categories such People, Photo, Music, and Office. It’s a pretty neat concept and a smarter way to organize stuff on a phone.

Microsoft also has one advantage in this rat race of mobile smart phones: its name. Although Apple may be booming with its iPhone and recently announced iPad, Apple still has its ways to go to catch up with Microsoft in its overall name. After all, about 90% of all computers in the world run off of Windows, which of course is Microsoft.

Microsoft did realize and copy one concept from Apple; the ecosystem. As I just said, Windows is already on 90% of the world’s computers. With the use of Hubs and live Tiles, Microsoft is combining your phone and your computer, in ways that sets a new standard in tech life…

They have another advantage; Gaming. To date, Apple has not delved into the gaming world aside from games that are available on the iPhone and Snow Leopard. But Microsoft has the Xbox Live, which has proven to be a huge success. When Windows Phone 7 is released, there will be an integration tile for Xbox as well.

Of course there is a Zune in every Windows Phone, just like every iPhone is an iPod, and it fully syncs with most of Microsoft’s stuff like Microsoft Office, it also automatically syncs without paying $99.00 a year like Apple’s counterpart MobileMe. This should drop the price of MobileMe… Hopefully.

So of course, I like this, and it makes me a bit more likely to go back to Microsoft if Apple keeps the same ole operating system in its highly anticipated iPhone 4.0 release. It’s not over and done until the phone is actually released, though. There are list of manufacturers that are on board of course… HTC, HP, Toshiba, Acer, Dell, LG, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson, all have been tapped to create devices with the new operating software.

I’ve attached a link to the webpage that has the press conference. Check it out: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/windowsphone/videoGallery.aspx

Of course… let me know what you think… See You Next Week

Darryl Yates is the owner and operator of Gadget Guy Consulting in Atlanta. GA. He currently writes for EURweb.com as a tech columnist, and helps people sync technology with life. Follow him @ www.twitter.com/gogogadgetguy.