While I was out enjoying an evening with a number of the NY Metro Community influencers at a social last night, the news of Windows Phone 7 being released to manufacturers (RTM in Microsoft-speak) became official.  This step brings Windows Phone 7 devices a bit closer to a place where they can finally start to become tangible as the development effort by Microsoft on this major release comes to a completion.  For those of you who didn’t see it yesterday, my friend Terry Myerson posted this on the Windows Phone Blog site here about this major step.

It was great to finally get some ad hoc time with a more up-to-date Windows Phone 7 device last night and my impression is that the smarter smart phone is on its way.  With the evolution of handheld computing devices being 15+ years old, it’s always interesting to me to see how each step progresses.  I’ll date myself when I tell you the many hours I spend years ago with the Pocket Computers from Radio Shack, to Pocket PC’s using Windows CE in the 1990’s, to Windows Mobile devices in the new millennium and finally to today where the next major step will take place.  The Blackberry smart phones became the standard business computing smart phone device several years ago and the fruit company in California arguably has the standard consumer smart phone today.  Both of these platforms evolved the handheld computing world in their respective segments (Business and Consumer) but technology changes quickly and both of these platforms begin to look old when the UI of Windows Phone 7 is set along side them.  What’s interesting to me is Windows Phone 7’s approach to really mesh the two worlds of your business life and personal life on a single device, without you having to do it yourself.  When someone sees all their “stuff” from their personal and business life come together and “light up” on a Windows Phone 7 device, the WOW moment becomes apparent. 

This truly seems to be an evolution of the smart phone platform that will allow consumers and business users leverage the device in a whole new way.  Devices will be available soon, so when you finally get a chance to look at one of the post-production Windows Phone 7 devices, I’d encourage everyone to experience how this personal computing platform is evolving yet again, and for the better.