By Aimee Chanthadavong

This Christmas, retail stores will become a battleground for smartphones as Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 is expected to be released just in time for the holiday season.

Dave Glover, developer evangelist, Microsoft Australia told Retailbiz  the Windows Phone 7 will allow users to customise their start screen of phones based on personal preferences.

“This means that tile icons such as Telstra’s TelstraOne icon, for instance, needs to earn its place on the start screen,” he said.

“It’s really a matter of what you want on your start screen; it varies from the basic emails, phone book and photos but you can also add certain people to your start screen.”

The interface of Windows Phone 7 has been designed to easily accessible as it moves in two directions – up and down and left to right, Glover said.

Sheau-Lan Reed, director of Windows Phone, Microsoft Australia, said because Windows is a familiar platform, it will also be beneficial to retailers.

“From a retailer’s perspective because everyone is already familiar to Windows it will be easy for them to learn about how it will work and therefore it’ll be easy for them to sell,” she said.

She also noted that there’s also the integration of a mobile version of Xbox Live.

“Xbox Live ties in really well for gaming retailers because now that this mobile version exists, even though it’s a phone, it has been made to be versatile for sales and it’s really a natural fit,” Reed said.