"The Web is a great companion to just about any computing experience these days and today we're talking a little more about some of the new services for Windows Phone 7 that tie the phone in your pocket up to the cloud. Through a push notification service that we've also extended to third party app developers, apps will be able to deliver real time updates. This way you know you're getting the latest info at a glance, either as banner-style alerts or straight to the personalized live tiles on your phone's Start screen. A feature we're discussing for the first time today is the new Windows Phone Live companion site that gives people a central place to see pictures they've published, view their Windows Live calendar and contacts, exchange OneNote files and access other information shared between the phone and the Web. The site will offer25GB of SkyDrive and host the Find My Phone service, which allows people to find and manage a missing phone with map, ring, lock and erase capabilities right from your PC - and all for free."
A strong Web-based component will be critical to the success of Windows Phone 7, and let's face it, given that Apple can't pull off a Web service to save their lives, this could be an important differentiator if done right. Much of this already exists today in the form of My Phone, but it looks like it's being integrated in a new way - which is great. Microsoft has some killer technologies across the company, but their biggest challenge is just getting them all in sync and working together in a unified, easy to use way.
Other confirmed news includes the fact that the first Windows Phone 7 devices will ship in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. I wonder if they'll finally have the ability to switch languages on the device? This has been a request I've seen come up time and time again, and the languages on the phone really depended on the phone - some European HTC phones supported multiple languages, some North American phones supported English and Spanish, and some phones supported only the language they shipped in. Microsoft has an opportunity to make some in-roads here with multi-linguals users...I hope they take this opportunity.
Mary-Jo Foley has some further details on this news.