By Adrian Booth

I know Christmas is long behind us, but I’ve been looking at Window 7 mobile phones and I want one.

It isn’t just that they are the latest gadget to hit the shops, I think my business needs me to get one, I really do. I want to be part of the mobile working crew. I hate being out and about and not having access to my emails. A few weeks ago I lost an emailed writing job from an agency that was sent at 1726 on a Tuesday, and I was out and about, returning from seeing another client. My customers often want to discuss something they’ve drafted at short notice too. I’m sure I can justify it.

Windows 7 Mobile has only been available since just before Christmas and there are several models on the market from leading manufacturers like LG, Samsung and HTC.

Because they all need to have same basic processing power to support Windows 7, it seems they are all going to do similar things.

But what captures my interest is their ability to do the same basic wonderful thing, and that’s run a specially adapted version of Office 2010 called Office Mobile 2010. This means all the familiar business programs we know well like Word, Excel, and even PowerPoint are there on the phone, only they are called Word Mobile and Excel Mobile etc.. Outlook Mobile is a real plus, and now you even get OneNote Mobile too, which was released in January.

These programs sync perfectly with your laptop or PC version of Office of course, and the super portability you get with a modern powerful mobile gives you a computer that sits in the palm of your hand. So I can already see all sorts of instances where it would be useful. I find business travel by train rewarding and productive for instance, and really like the idea of working on my mobile, as long as I have a signal that is, which can be a challenge on the UK network.

Word Mobile 2010 enables basic document formatting. You can also insert pictures, lists and tables. As you’d expect, it includes spell check, a word counter, Find and Replace, plus footnotes, endnotes, headers, footers and page breaks. Some fonts are not displayed and can’t be inserted while working on Mobile Office, but I can live with that, and these features are retained if your original document has them.

Just like the desktop version, Excel Mobile 2010 allows cell formatting, basic formula calculations, and the creation of charts and graphs. To help with screen resolution limitations, you can view different areas of the worksheet with data filtering and split panes.

As you would hope, PowerPoint Mobile 2010 lets you read presentation documents and has a zooming option for coping with the smaller screen. However, this program does not allow you to create or edit new documents.

OneNote Mobile 2010 is a handy mobile filing system for bringing together text, pictures, audio recordings and hyperlinks in documents. You can also add material directly from the built-in camera and microphone.

And Outlook Mobile includes email; a calendar with alerts; a contact book which allows you to assign individual ring tones; and task lists. The ‘always on’ email capability is achieved by hooking up with the Microsoft Exchange Server, or through a Window Live Hotmail account.

As far as I can see, the currently available Windows 7 phones are the Samsung Omnia 7, HTCHD7, HT7 Trophy; LG Optimus 7 and the HTC Mozart. Just by looking online you can see that different service providers have chosen different options for their customers. When you’re choosing a network to go with, it often comes down to which provider gives you the best signal where you live and work I’ve found.

So far I’ve had a 24 month contract offered at £35 a month. But buying a sim-free phone could be an expensive option, as they seem to weigh in at around the £400 mark. But I’m still researching and having a good look. I want to see the screens for myself before deciding what I need to do.

If you are shopping around or want to look at the spec, I’ve found the website gsmarena.com offers a lot of insight.

Another source of information where you can find out more from is the Windows phone site.

Watch the video below featuring Tanya Shirlow, SMB Marketing Lead at Microsoft UK, as she discusses the advantages of cloud services.

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