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Windows Phone 7: all you need to know

The PC era worked like this: almost everyone had Windows, and those who didn't mostly had Macintosh.

The Smartphone era works like this: almost everyone has Windows, and those who don't mostly have iPhones.

At least, that's how it was supposed to work. And in the early 00s, when Microsoft's Windows Mobile ruled the roost, it looked like Microsoft might just dominate the smartphone market as surely as it did PCs.

Then the iPhone was launched, and overnight Windows Mobile looked old, clumsy and slow. And to make matters worse, Google launched Android, which offered manufacturers a way to sell smartphones without paying license fees for software.

So Microsoft has a lot to do with its latest Smartphone software, Windows Phone 7, which launched yesterday. Fortunately for them, it seems it's pretty good - attractive, easy-to-use, and whizzy fast.

Oh - and the first handsets are available in Europe in two weeks!

Now we just need Microsoft to get on top of tablets, and they'll be back in the game.

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