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Digging into Windows Phone 7 (photos)

CNET's Ina Fried shows what she likes--and doesn't like--about Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's effort to get back into the phone game.

Ina Fried
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
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1 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Do as I mean, not as I type

Virtual keyboards can be an adjustment and aren't well suited to one-handed typing. Windows Phone 7 aims to make up for that by doing an excellent job of figuring out what one is trying to type.

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2 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Press here

Holding down a finger to the left of an e-mail message provides a quick alternate way to shift into check box mode, which allows a batch of mail to be deleted or moved to a specific folder.

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3 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Check please

The check box feature, which I find downright annoying in Hotmail and other Web e-mail programs, is quite handy on a phone as a means for selecting multiple e-mails to delete or file.

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4 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Yes Virginia, there is a cursor

Pressing down on one location in a text entry field brings up a cursor well above the finger that can then be dragged to a particular location.

Users can edit text from there, but can't copy or paste. Some may not mind that omission, but it's practically a deal breaker for me.

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5 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

I can't read it, but it is pretty

Windows Phone's Metro interface and smooth fonts make reading e-mail a joy. Even foreign-language spam looks pretty darn good.

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6 of 6 Ina Fried/CNET

Say a command

I knew that Windows Phone had voice activation, but hadn't taken the time to figure out how it worked.

However, holding down the Windows button one time revealed the speech technology. And it seemed to do a pretty good job of recognizing the names in my address book, even if it only did a so-so job of pronouncing them.

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