Nov 29 AT 2:22 PM Dustin Earley 97 Comments

Microsoft is giving Android users a taste of WP7 right through their browser

microsoft windows phone demo

We already know Microsoft makes more money from Android phones (thanks to patent licensing deals) than their own Windows Phone OS, but the Redmond-based company is taking the way they use Android to the next level today. They’re giving Android users a taste of WP7 without ever having to leave the comfort of their browser.

That’s right, by simply going to from your Android (or iOS) browser, users are greeted with a somewhat functioning, rather smooth Windows Phone emulator. None of the apps actually work, but you can poke around through a guided tour to get a feel for what it’s like to use Windows Phone.

At this point, you may be wondering why Microsoft would do such a thing. Well the answer is relatively simple. They figure that if more people can get their hands on a Windows Phone device, without ever having to use a Windows Phone device, more people will end up seeing the light and making the switch. While I can see the sense in this theory, I don’t imagine it working. But I do see something else working.

Next time your Android-using buddy is away from his or her phone, load up the emulator as a practical joke. See just how mad they get when they find out their Android phone has somehow changed into Windows Phone. I know I wouldn’t be too happy.

Via: Engadget

Source: Microsoft

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • azswift

    Many of the best features will be in the Android market via 3rd party software soon enough. Thanks Microsoft, for showing Android developers what they should look at next.

    • Michael C.

      Bleh… the last thing the Android devs need is to start emulating the look and feel of a totally different OS (not to mention one seemingly doomed like Windows Phone). Android could really use some UI guidelines to keep the 3rd-party GUIs more in-line. Not something as strict as iOS perhaps, but more than there is now.

    • bwmanx

      I’m actually pretty impressed with the Windows phones. The tiles really work well. I think Microsoft is finally innovating again. They are still way behind on content and apps, so I still think Android is a better choice. But, I’d get a Windows phone waaaaaay before I’d ever get and iPhone.

  • NegativeOne13

    Hmmm… very intriguing. Good sales pitch…… but still a Windows phone. WiMo anyone? Anyone? Didn’t think so.

    • dl22

      I just can’t imagine going WP after having the luxury of so much google integration…

  • Galen20K

    just tried it on my iPod touch 4, pretty slick I like it : )

    • latouffe

      Maybe on an iphone. But installing windows mobile over Android. :S

  • Travis

    I still feel as something is missing with the huge gap on the right side of the screen…

    • inviolable

      Yea I never liked the UI design even a little bit. The fact that I can’t change it makes it even worse.

    • Cole Loomis

      Microsoft thinks they are cool and artsy by putting a blank space on their screens. If the space is there, use it.

    • WowoW

      Feel the exact same way. And besides, who would want to have the Microsoft design on their Android devices?

      Don’t get me wrong, I like EVERY design path Microsoft has taken with their phones, except for their ‘live home screen’, that just looks awful in my opinion.

    • Joseph Banks

      yeah, it seemed like they were trying to be asymmetrical or abstract. it doesn’t look ugly but it looks…odd. like i should be spending less since less pixels are being used. lol

  • mikeyDroid

    I LOVE the typography used in the WP7 phones, “Segoe” (font family) is beautiful, and some of the transitions are cool – aside from that I’m not really convinced they use their space well.

  • Technodork

    Too much tapping to get to apps and what not not feeeeeling it

  • WarDrake

    Well… there’s one thing i know already… i don’t like it…
    it’s horribly designed… :(

    I’m staying with my cute and very functional Android.

  • Jeremy

    Just like Windows… it doesn’t work! Lol

    • Shackled

      I’ll play along with your troll, but Windows 7 has been an extremely solid OS. It is still dominating in the business world (outside of the artsy stuff) and security has been much better that previous iterations. What I am afraid of is the direction Windows 8 is heading dealing with UI. I am not a fan of WP7 and the lack of UI customization, yes the Metro UI is cool and sleek but usability/ease of access still reign supreme.

  • ndub21

    I’ll have to try this out. I’ve always kinda wanted to try out a Windows Phone, but never have. I like to try new things, but there is no way this could sway me from Android. I’m here for the long haul.

  • spintrex

    Microsoft tries to be sleek and functional but somehow it doesn’t seem to appeal to the masses.

  • Alex

    I first tried this out on Dolphin Browser and whenever I tried to swipe left or right I would just open the tools and bookmarks panels XD Slight problem Microsoft

    • Mighty_O

      try the default browser.

    • Daniel

      Not their fault if your browser breaks standard web behavior.

  • itguy426

    Funny how they geared it towards android users. I think there is a reason that most of us use android. That would be all of the functionality that you get from it. Windows phone 7 and IOS are bland and do not have the customization that android has. It would be hard I would think for most to go from something that has a lot of customization to something that does not have much. Maybe there are some out there that are looking for something a little more simple but I don’t think that many are. When ice cream sandwich becomes the norm for phones I don’t think many will look anywhere else. I think that is the step that android needed to fill in the last of the gaps.

  • Deeds

    If I wanted a WP7, I would have bought a WP7

    • GUI_Center

      ^ What he said.

  • B.A. in computer sci

    WP7 is too confusing for me to use..

    • YMS123

      Then good luck with that B.A.

  • OGdroid57

    So this emulator has more users than WP7 actually does right ;)?

    • Nich

      HAhahaha !!

      i so needed a good laugh before heading out from work today . +10


  • stenzor

    As much as I like Windows, I can’t see myself using a WP OS.. but good effort by Microsoft!

  • James Jun

    The potential is there, but its really too flat and type-based UI to be too appealing. Simplistic, but not real appealing.

  • issac4760

    i use Google music, so no windows phone for me.

  • Charlesbrown79

    The UI does have some personality and it is rather smooth. Although I would never leave Android, if I had to choose between WP7 and iOS…I’d probably pick WP7.

    • David

      I would have picked an iPhone 4 before picking any wp phone. Of course, that alone tells how likely I am from giving up my wonderful and great and amazing nexus S. Be it iPhone or wp…

      • Legend

        Ditto. iOS is pretty good but the choice for handsets isn’t there. + the similar app ecosystem. WP however…..

  • Futureboy

    From a marketing standpoint, this demo is pure genius. Were it not for this demo, how many of us would have actually even looked at a Windows phone let alone played with it for a minute or two? Getting your product in front of your audience is half the battle, and I think they came up with a very creative way of doing just that.

  • hachem28


  • Clark Wimberly

    Pretty neat stuff.

  • roamdeus

    Wp7 is a joke try again Microsoft

  • EightBitJoker

    Almost convinced my friend I had a WP7 rom on my Android from afar :)) very nice demo, I love how they were able to emulate the smooth experience of a WP7 phone via a website

  • ishbuggy

    It wouldn’t work for me. I could get into things like the people app, but I could never click on anything or get out of it.

  • Sleepy Head

    Yuch! The demo is pretty cool, but the implementation is horrible! I feel like they’re regressing from Windows 7 (which I like a lot) back to windows 3.1! Everything is a rectangle, and I don’t have any sense of where I am — should I tap, or scroll left? Now maybe the last part of that is that I need to use it some more to get used to it — but the beauty of a truly well designed [phone] OS is that it’s user interface is intuitive.

  • Aladdin

    I didn’t know the android browser could do such cool stuff!

  • unwiredmedic

    I tried this out with Firefox on my Android and it wouldn’t load (browser incompatibility) so I recommend you use the default Android browser.

    Incidentally, I also own a Samsung Focus (Windows Phone 7.5) and it isn’t bad at all. The responsiveness is snappy, the e-mail notifications and usage I feel are better than Android. Yes, it needs A LOT more apps and customization, but it is an improvement over Windows Mobile. The biggest benefit I find is access to XBox Live and Office.

  • darkhorse166

    Demo doesn’t work on my WP7 phone :(

    Just from a purely technical standpoint, I’m interested in how Microsoft actually coded this up – it’s obviously not Flash, and it looks like it’s done well using open standards.

    (Disclaimer: My WP7 device is actually my main phone – I find it’s far more intuitive and useful in everyday usage than my last Android phone was, an Optimus 2X. That’s not to say that there aren’t things I find irritating about Windows Phone, like the lack of USB mass storage support, USB tethering, overclocking/undervolting, etc etc…)

  • Mighty_O

    use the default Android browser to try it out.

  • ccn_cristi

    Nice one! Great marketing trick :)
    Tried it and it works very well – default Android browser.

  • Jimmy Bones

    Now that is just funny to me. Blah Blah android or die haha.

  • SCJaredJ

    ok, just tried this out. Not too bad. There are some things that seemed cool. I’ve always wondered what their design looks like in landscape mode, but the app won’t work that way. Not sure if they fix their software to only work in portrait or if this is just a limitation of the demo.

    I don’t think that I’ll be running off to buy a WP7 phone anytime soon. Let’s face it, pretty much all of the mobile platforms are pretty cool and work well — be it iOS, webOS, WP7 or BB (sorry if I left anyone out). But the main obstacle any of these other platforms have to clear is my love of complete customization on my android phone. Not that there aren’t features I’m missing out on because maybe I’m too stuck in my ways about what I like my phone to do and how it’s laid out, but since I use my phone A LOT more out of necessity (job) than for pleasure, sacrificing the ability to customize my phone to fit exactly towards my usage habits is not something I’m willing to do (yet, anyways).

    • TaoRenCe


  • octect

    You guys are amazing. Criticizing MS is almost like fashion. That is ugly, that is insecure, that it doesn’t work. That it is slow. I am the IT of a 500 company. Never had any problems in 15 years with Windows. And I am also the proud owner of a Samsung S II. With Android. I like it. It is fun. It is also the most dangerous OS in the world, with no security at all. But everybody loves it.The battery hardly makes it through the day. I cannot use it at my work, for it never makes it under heavy use. So I use my HTC with win 6.5 which lasts 4 days with one charge. How much I would like to have the ability of a Steve Jobs, or Google. I would sell you the Niagara falls. Or the post office in your neighbourhood. I would be rich!

    • raminscc

      You sir are a bitch. For various reasons. Foremost: You claim to be an IT guy yet you know shit about android. Android is perfectly secure unless your giving root access to all programs or installing obscure apps off market. Battery life haha. Set up a location trigger via tasker to underclock your phone at work. It will last at least twice as long. What stock android phones lack in battery power is made up for in performance.

  • varref

    it’s all very nice and all, but I would rather have ICS….

  • Aalaap Ghag

    This is hardly “another level”. It would be more interesting to make an app like Launcher 7 that actually works natively on Android and then shows the user what it can do. I mean, Launcher 7 already does that!

    (I have both the Nexus S Gingerbread and the Samsung Focus WP7 phones.)

  • baldypal

    Man, Microsoft is really trying hard aren’t they? I tried this out, it’s…OK…! I can’t help it, i love Android and it’s layout. It’s ability to customize it so easily…nothing truly compares. Microsoft has to bring something really big to the table with Windows mobile 8 in order to get this Droid to look in there direction again.

  • ericwilborn

    I actually don’t mind my WP7 device… not that it will replace my Android.

  • gwapnitsky

    Why does Windows have to invade everything?

  • nmoline

    I hate tiles; especially when you can’t do all of them.

  • jcsoccer

    Very interesting idea, but I can’t see myself changing from Android to WP7

  • myandroid99

    im not really a fan of windows mobile i think android is way better

  • minimage

    In addition to carrying a Motorola Photon 4G, I also carry an HTC HD7, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why I’d want Windows Phone 7 on my Android phone. Personally, while I like the Office Live integration, I can’t stand the horribly inefficient start screen (those giant icons are just ridiculous wastes of great screen real estate), and scrolling through the list of all of my apps takes forever. With that said, there is a lot good to say about Windows Phone 7, and in my decade of using Windows on mobile devices, I have never seem Microsoft do as much to improve a mobile OS at one time as they did with Mango. I just don’t want that UI on my nice Android phone that allows me to find my apps with a lot less strokingstrokingstrokingSTROKINGmanmyfingersareTIRED.

  • cxandroid

    I’ve never actually seen one in person.

  • ordio

    I have a Galaxy S1 (runs Android) and i tried to use the Windows 7 launcher for it. Really liked the interface, but after a while, i went back to the android interface..
    As i used Windows 6 (and 6.1) as my first smarter phone, i still prefer android now.

  • tkitty93

    I like the initiative of this web-based wp7 preview.

  • cakonopka

    This is brilliant, it runs so well and really does make me consider a wp7.

  • frusak

    I just messed with my friends desire HD its was so funny!

  • OzygarO

    MS and Nokia will never work, iOS or Android, it’s the only solution I think.

  • wombas

    Wow.. I really really want a WP7 Now. No what about an iphone. No a blackberry. Hang on I have ICS. Food wins every time

  • la_resistance28

    A really fantastic demo. Half-convinced me to get a WP7 device. And then I actually went to play with one in the store today. Quite impressive, WP7 just needs a deeper app ecosystem. I can see how this could be a strong alternative to iOS and Android for beginner smartphone users.

  • milus

    Nice, but how many apps does WP7 have?

  • j_d_

    Good idea, but not enough options. You only have a few points to start and then follow one way through their presentation. It should be more freely.

  • kimminer1

    I saw a windows phone at best buy…still like android better

  • xbloodworkx

    This is pointless…

  • wontsttle4less

    Never liked Windows

  • the5thdimension

    Checked it out and it made me like WP7 even less than I already do…

  • blaseb

    It made my pHone turn off.. :/

  • zylor

    Very limited… i wont trade my android for nothing :D

  • aimcl

    Hate it.. very limited in my honest opinion… made me hate it more lol

  • e36bmer

    I like it. Super simple. I would give it to my father, daughter, or grandmother. But, it just seems lacking and not for me.

  • munsterwrench

    i feel somewhat lost with the tiles , dont know if im supposed to slide or press on it , sorry microsoft I’m sticking with android, can’t wait for an ics rom to available foy my phone

  • jefflarkin

    I think this is a cool little demo, but unless MS follow-up by pushing better training and incentives into the mobile stores, it’s not going to make a difference. I bought my wife an WP7 phone and came very close to getting one for myself. I really like the interface, consistency, and social integration. It’s a really good experience and I find myself suggesting it to non-techie friends and family more that iOS or Android. For me though, it came down to the fact that I use many google products that just aren’t well supported on that platform.

  • Santana

    Pretty nifty I might say

  • raminscc

    Wicked blasphemers! Defiling my browser. Ill try it, remember to switch your user agent to default/android!!

  • Leo Young

    I would personally never have one. The UI is blocky and I think it is quite ugly.
    Having said that, I know someone who got a Windows phone a while ago and says that in six months, it never crashed.
    That’s good.

  • phaet2112

    Opera doesn’t like it very much…

  • dl22

    That is one seriously slick browser demo. Never seen anything like that.

    Is anyone else feel a little awkward about how much they like the WP??

  • Aspeds2989

    Well played Microsoft. Well played.

  • falvey6607


  • mingchan06

    It seems windows phones have a better op but looks a bit ugly to me. Need to play around with one to see

  • eioous

    Haven’t quite played with WP7, think I might give it a go.

  • pdowling

    I enjoyed trying it out, but honestly, Android just provides me with a better base to live my life off my phone

  • Dan13

    I think giving users a taste before they actually buy something is a great idea. Good job Microsoft! Now, if only they would let you use screen real estate better.

  • goncalossilva

    Nice try, but I was a bit disappointed… I was honestly expecting a bit more “freedom” on the demo.

  • smisa27

    So I tried this the other day, and I thought it was done pretty well. It ran nice and smooth on my browser. But still, after using that, I am not at all in love with the Windows interface. I am still a big Android fan. But big props to Microsoft for making that and giving just about anyone with a smartphone, easy access to a windows phone feel.