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Microsoft shows off some WP7 mini-apps; Bing translator on board!

On Microsoft's own Channel 9 yesterday, they showed off some of the free apps in the new Marketplace for Windows Phone 7.

Now these are hardly "killer" apps, in fact they are more demo apps with the source-code available for developers to build off of and incorporate into their own programs.

The programs demoed were pretty basic, much like the ones you find on Samsung phones:

  • Bubble/Spirit Level
  • Unit Converter
  • Shopping list
  • Weather
  • Stocks
  • 2D game based on SilverLight: 'Unite'
  • Translator

The 2D game 'Unite' was kind of neat--it's just meant as brief time killer and is similar to 'Teeter' from HTC except instead of getting the ball in the hole, you need to combine two or more balls.  Looks kind of fun actually.

But the real big thing was the demonstration of Bing Translator, which seems to be an expansion of this new service shown off back in May. Basically, you type in what you want to say and it will translate it for you in text; hit the speaker button and it will speak the phrase for you, even with an authentic accent.

The service is a hybrid one: it uses your data connection for new phrases, but stores old ones on the device. This will enable quick playback of phrases without having to constantly reach into the cloud (Android is 100% cloud based with translation, making Microsoft's solution more preferable). The app also already comes with an impressive list of canned phrases which you can quickly access and supports five-languages on launch:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • English

What's neat is like the other apps, Microsoft is making the source-code of this program available to developers, meaning anyone can incorporate and expand upon what they've already offered. This combined with their emphasis on voice could potentially give Android a run for their money (and leave Apple far behind).

Check out the video after the break. It's only 18 minutes of your time.

 

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