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HolidayBuyer's Guide

A big task

Inside the ship room

A new look

A peek at the latest chip

Samsung meeting

Hoping things don't go splat

No one is Bozo this day

Qualcomm and Microsoft

No dress code

A momentary celebration

A giant version of a Windows Phone 7 device hangs in the lobby of one of the three buildings that house the project's vast development team.

Although the first Windows Phone devices won't go on sale until the holidays, it's already crunch time in Redmond as Microsoft looks to finish the code so hardware makers can get devices to the cell phone carriers for testing.

Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
Services test manager Nick Dimmitt speaks during a meeting in late May as his team reached a key milestone in the development of Windows Phone 7.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
Microsoft made the decision to go with an entirely new graphics framework for Windows Phone 7, leaving behind the look of all prior versions of the software.

Among the other changes is a new style, known as Metro, and seen on these posters that line the walls of the Windows Phone 7 team's offices.

Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
Microsoft Vice President Terry Myerson gets a look at a prototype Windows Phone circuit board that Qualcomm built with an all-new chip that had just started rolling off the manufacturing line.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
Terry Myerson and two Microsoft colleagues meet with two Samsung officials--Junil Hong, vice president of software development, and W.S. Lee, vice president of product planning.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
In addition to his formal tests on Windows Phone's quality and stability, Terry Myerson said he gets an update from his kids on how new test versions are doing at running their favorite application--Goo Splat, which was one of the first games ready for Windows Phone 7.
Caption by / Photo by Microsoft
After a reporter suggested that perhaps Microsoft should have Bozo the Clown run its phone business, Microsoft's Terry Myerson took to wearing a clown outfit.

Later it was jokingly handed to others on the team who made a major gaffe. Fortunately, Myerson said, no one has had to wear the suit lately, so it hangs on the wall of the team's conference room as a not-so-subtle reminder.

Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
Microsoft's Terry Myerson meets with Qualcomm executive Torrey Harmon at the end of a long day of meetings between the two companies' development teams.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
Outfits in the ship room ranged from formal button-down shirts to this "Keep Portland Beered" shirt sported by Henry Sanders, one of the top engineers at Microsoft and the development lead on the Windows Phone 7 project.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
Although it still has a long way to go before the product is finished, the Windows Phone 7 services team takes a moment to celebrate its software having reached a quality milestone.
Caption by / Photo by Ina Fried/CNET
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