The best Windows Mobile concepts you’ve never seen

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Chinese Microsoft enthusiast blog LiveSino.net today posted a bunch of links to some interesting portfolios by a handful of Chinese designers who works at the Microsoft Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Studios in Beijing. What many people don’t know is that the ATC has been largely responsible for the user experience design of Windows Mobile. This however is no longer the case as WM 6.5 was their last project, but up and until now, they’ve been busy conceptualizing the future of Windows Mobile. Most of those concepts have never surface in public before, until now.

Out of all the portfolios linked, one stands out as the juiciest. Teng Lei, a user experience designer at the ATC recently blogged about a new portfolio by Robin Zhu (not yet launched) who appears to also work at the ATC. What appears to be a teaser quickly turns into an enormous gallery of high resolution clippings from Robin’s portfolio which showcases some extraordinary Windows Mobile concepts he’s designed over the years.

Here’s a select few I found the most interesting, but I would encourage everyone to visit the original blog post to see the whole range.

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With these amazing UX concepts, one wonders, where did it all go wrong for Windows Mobile?

Update: The author of these concepts, Robin, clarifies in the comments that not all of these concepts were designed for Windows Mobile but designed for mobile user experiences in general.

34 insightful thoughts

  1. I dont normally comment.. but these concepts are truly wonderful. I am meant to be purchasing an iPhone 3GS on Friday, but i have always wanted to get a Windows Mobile Device but they just don’t come close to what i would hope for in a mobile device. I really like the 3rd image. Makes me think of a futuristic Blackberry.

  2. i say, they deprived winmo for so long :) i hope they’ll give winmo7 a new face lift both inside/outside the old skin just like its desktop counterpart.

  3. My favorite photo is the last one that shows a phone playing music w/ an artist name of Willie Nelson but a photo of Jason Mraz

  4. “With these amazing UX concepts, one wonders, where did it all go wrong for Windows Mobile?”

    Interesting historical question. But I guess the key moving forward is will they get it right for WM7?

  5. I’m Robin who did the mobile design in above, the most of the mobile UX design dosn’t designed forWindows mobile OS. so please change the title for a anther name if possible. thanks.

  6. Concepts seem a little bubbly to me. They do look better than 6.1 of course, but a bit too sparkly. It would be cool if we could get away from using the old two-paned menu navigation to something that could be more flexible without taking up valuable screen space. It looks a lot like my friend’s T-Mobile Shadow phone, that runs Windows Mobile 6.1 with a really nice custom today screen similar to these shots.

  7. Nice Photoshop work from MS!

    I know it’s more than that :-). But still, given that they’ve demonstrated with the Zune HD that they are capable of doing this kind of work, I’d love to see a little more action and a little less vaporware.

  8. Have you confirmed the “Robin” that commented is the real deal? Either way, the majority of these concept ‘drawings’ are for Windows Mobile.

  9. Great!!
    It means WM7 will rock and left behind Apple iphone 3GS.
    so,there is great future of Windows Phones.

  10. Great find Long, some of these are exactly what the platform needed, a futuristic or cool techno look to them. It appears as though some of the concepts we will see in WinMo 6.1 made the cut (ie the unlock etc) but by and large you look at these and wonder where it went for WinMo : (

  11. This is what I cant understand. Microsoft has designers like this who make gorgeous wonderful looking concepts and yet Windows Mobile in its current form just looks absolutely rubbish. Why can’t MS actually implement these concepts into Mobile and give Apple a run for their money? You would think with the whole Apple craze – that all the worlds best concept designers have been hired by Apple since everything coming out of their camp is gorgeous, yet anything Windows related is always sadly lacking. If this stuff shows anything, it is that Windows based concepts can be just as good, if not greater. Now all we need is a company that is willing to move forward with this. Even Android looks better than the current Windows Mobile and they haven’t even been around as long. Quite sad that Microsoft is not utilising the talent it has.

  12. As far as I know it will not use the same codebase as current WM. 6.5 will be the last. WM 7 is suppose to be essentially built from the ground up.

  13. @guest WM 6.5 is built from the ground-up I’ve heard. Windows Mobile 7 needs to be built better with a different name. Like IE, people automatically hate it because of an older version. IE 8 is great but people are scarred by IE 8. My brother hates WinMo because of his WinMo 5 phone. WinMo just needs a good rebranding and an injection of innovation.

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