Live from Steve Ballmer’s MWC keynote!

Yesterday was so jam-packed full of action, it’s hard to believe this year’s Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona officially started today. The show runs through Thursday, in fact, and promises to bring us awesome mobile news from start to finish. While day 1 of the show winds down — it’s now 4:00PM local time — Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is just getting ready to deliver his anticipated MWC keynote. Windows Phone 7 is expected to be a focus, given the venue, and we wouldn’t be surprised to hear Ballmer talk about Nokia a fair bit as well. Hit the break for our live coverage of the event, and don’t forget to refresh the page for all the latest updates.

10:54AM:That’s it ladies and gentlemen! Let us know what you think in the comments.

10:54AM:“You’re going to have a chance to see our innovation with these next round of carrier devices. Every consumer will experience this. 2011 is going to be a fast-paced, and great, year. For our company, for the industry, and for Windows Phone.”

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10:52AM:“Windows Phone will be the most carrier friendly mobile operating system available.”

10:51AM:“Our focus today shifts to delivering those first devices and changing the industry.” Mr. Elop is done.

10:51AM:“We think this is good new for developers because we can bring an opportunity to bring Windows Phone 7 to users around the globe with our reach.”

10:50AM:“We’re looking forward to building this ecosystem. We’re looking to ensure we delivery products that are more competitive. We cam create that third ecosystem that benefits everyone.” (Android and iOS are the other two in case you are confused.)

10:49AM:“A second point of symmetry: our global reach and distribution. We’re also looking forward to working with Microsoft on U.S. penetration.”

10:48AM:“As you read all the press and analyst commentary there is a common theme: Nokia and Microsoft is a natural partner. We bring incredible industry design to the mobile platform of the future. We have the understanding to take it from where it is today, to where it will be tomorrow the world over.”

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10:47AM:Here comes Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia.

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10:46AM:“We announced a partnership with Nokia. Nokia has incredible capabilities that are well known to everybody in the audience, we’re sure from that base Nokia is going to be able to deliver fabulous Nokia Windows Phones. Maps and location based technologies that Nokia has built will be used in Bing services across all the target platforms: PC, phones, TV… wherever Bing goes.”

10:45AM:“We’re off to a strong start, but we know we have work to do. And we will only thrive with scale and variety. We’re going to work to ensure innovation does not lead to fragmentation that ‘other manufacturers’ are currently experiencing.” (I wonder who he’s talking about

10:43AM:“30,000 developers have registered for the Market Place and over 100,000 people have downloaded to SDK.”

10:43AM:

10:43AM:“Today, just 4 months after Windows Phone first shipped we have over 8,000 applications in the Market Place.”

10:43AM:“Windows Phone will be the best way for carriers, service developers, software developers, and manufacturers to deliver value to their customers.”

10:42AM:“Customers aren’t going to be looking to buy a phone in the future, they’re going to be looking to buy into an ecosystem.”

10:42AM:Joe’s done. Steve’s back.

10:41AM:“Windows Phone will work as a companion to Kinect.” We’re seeing a video. A ballon dodging game, the person trying to dodge is using the Kinect sensor, but the person throwing is using their Windows Phone to control the trajectory and speed of the ballons. It’s pretty cool

10:40AM:“We haven’t heard about how we’re going to evolve gaming on WP. This isn’t everything by the way, there will be more features in the update, this is just a few.”

10:39AM:“Before I leave stage, there’s one more thing I want to describe.”

10:39AM:“We’ve tried to make sure the user interaction stays really intuitive and really simple. It’s really consistant with our built-in system and third-party updates.”

10:38AM:“Now a third scenario. What if you want to play say a radio station in the background? If I press and hold the back button, the Slacker application will move into the task view and I can select the program I want. The music keeps playing.”

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10:37AM:“To make it easy to switch to applications you have been running, maybe not the last one, you press and hold the Back button to get a card-like view of what applications you’ve been running with a screen shot of what the application is doing. It’s fast task switching.”

10:35AM:“To enable multitasking hit the Start button, do what you need to do, push the Back button, and you’re back. That’s the first scenario.”

10:34AM:“As Steve said, later on this year, we’ll make this available for all Windows Phone users. It will add support for third-party multitasking. When apps run in the background, you risk draining your battery. Our implementation provides a battery-safe solution for third-party multitasking.”

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10:31AM:Seeing speed comparison between IE 9 and Safari on an iPhone 4.

10:30AM:“The core browsing engine that ships on IE 9 for the PC is the same engine that will ship on Windows Phone. When web site developers create a site, if it works well on the PC it will work well on the phone.”

10:28AM:“Now talking about IE 9. There are two very significant things about IE 9 that make it a huge improvement for us. It has great standards support and takes great advantage of powerful graphics hardware.”

10:27AM:“It’s super easy to view, edit, upload, and manage documents needed by a group. A user can share a document with you and it will automatically populate to your Office Hub. There’s no need to sign in again. It’s smart.”

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10:26AM:Seeing Office Hub first. “We’re going to let consumers and small business have this Share Point experience with SkyDrive.”

10:25AM:“Moving to the demo where we show unfinished code.”

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10:23AM:Camera quick-launch to capture pictures of kids, live tiles to give you the information you want at a glance, voice search with Bing, People hub… we’re getting to hear it all… again.

10:21AM:Joe is currently going over the current features of Windows Phone 7. Getting an overview of the “smart design” of the camera button and live tiles. We should be getting to the new stuff in the next few minutes.

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10:19AM:“To give you a better idea of how hubs provide a better experience, I’m going to invite Joe Fiore on-stage; he’ll provide you with a preview of things to come with Windows Phone later this year, in live code.”

10:18AM:

10:17AM:(We’re getting a high-level overview of the current functionality of the pictures, music and market place at the moment.)

10:16AM:Continuing with new features for 2011: we’re adding support for broader, consumer-based, Skydrive connectivity; just like business have now.

10:15AM:“We created six hubs around what our customers way they care about most, contact feeds, social networks, pictures…”

10:14AM:“As I think should be obvious from my enthusiasm, smart design is a key differentiator of Windows Phone.”

10:13AM:Coming to Windows Phone in 2011 as part of smart design: MULTITASKING, Internet Explorer 9 for Windows Phone complete with hardware accelerated graphics…

10:12AM:Smart design extends beyond the hubs. It continues to things like the camera button.

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10:10AM:“The market has been flooded with similar devices. A sea of icons on home screens with links to applications. With smart design (speaking about hubs) we’re trying to rethink that design.”

10:09AM:“We’re thrilled with the progress. 9 out of 10 people who buy a WP recommend them to family and friends. While it is still early in the game, out customers are becoming evangelists for Windows Phone.”

10:08AM:

10:07AM:“I’m going to give you a glimpse at what’s to come later this year in Windows Phone 7.”

10:07AM:“If last Friday’s announcement with Nokia is any indication of how 2011 is going to go… we’re in for a big year.”

10:06AM:“Last year, we announced Windows Phone 7 at MWC. This year, we have a lot of work to do, but we’re ready to drive the platform forward.”

10:06AM:Steve’s on stage!

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