With all the buzz around the Windows Phone, we wanted to drill down to the nitty-gritty and find out what really sets the Windows Phone apart from other smartphones. That’s why we asked Anthony Kinney, Microsoft’s mobility specialist in Boston, for his take on the phone and what it enables him to do. If you’re curious about what the Windows Phone has to offer, check out the next two posts from him.

1. Why should you buy a Windows Phone? What sets it apart from other smartphones?

Windows Phone is a mobile operating system that more easily integrates into our customers’ worlds, eliminating their need to constantly click, stop and start apps to complete tasks. Two key enhancements – Live Tiles and Hubs – make this possible.

Live Tiles on your home screen give you the information you care about most, without requiring you to launch the actual application. For example, on my current home screen, I have several live tiles including a tile that gives me updated stock information, a tile that shows the current weather for my area and a live tile that shows my calendar details, including date and next appointment. At Microsoft, we know all users aren’t the same, so we give you the option to create your own home screen with the apps, information and people you care most about.

There are 6 default hubs in Windows Phone, which include People, Music and Video, Pictures, Office, Gaming, and Marketplace.

Here are two of my favorites:

  • The People Hub: If you’re like me, you probably have far too many contact lists. For example, you may have personal and business email accounts and contacts in your Facebook account, which can be difficult to manage simultaneously.  The People hub answers this dilemma and is your window to all things social. It “links” your contacts together so when you tap someone you get all of their information from all the various services you use and can communicate or interact with this person however you choose.
  • The Pictures Hub: Imagine you’re using a non-Windows Phone and talking with some friends about your recent wedding or child’s birthday, and would love to show them some pictures. You currently subscribe to five different picture services ranging from Windows Live, Flickr, Facebook, tumblr and even have pictures on your device. You start scrambling to open and close each of those separate apps to try and find where you stored your wedding photos. By the time you find the right one, the conversation has already moved on to something new.

With a Windows Phone, though, you get a Pictures hub that accesses your many services, gathers thumbnails of your pictures, organizes them and allows you to quickly grab any picture you need without having to launch different applications to find the picture you want.

2.  What does the Windows Phone enable you to do that you couldn’t before?

My Windows Phone bridges the gap between work and play. Working for Microsoft requires that I remain constantly connected. Having a full Outlook client running on my smartphone gives me constant access to my Inbox, and most importantly, full capability to sort messages, accept and decline meeting requests, etc.

Also, the calendar helps me maintain a greater work/life balance by letting me color code appointments as personal or business.

Finally, the fully operational Office Hub not only allows me to see all documents housed on my laptop or desktop PC, but also edit them and collaborate via SharePoint on my device. Very handy for days when the 18th tee box is backed up! Err, I mean my sales calls are being delayed. J

Stay tuned to the second part of our interview with Anthony!