Just a couple of weeks since Apple shook up the world of mobile Internet with its iPad announcement, Microsoft gave gadget and mobile fanatics another reason to get excited with the announcement of Windows Mobile 7.

Unlike any of its previous mobile devices, the new Windows Mobile is the first of what will be the Windows Mobile 7 Series. Critics have previously questioned Microsoft’s lack of any real offering on the Smartphone front and for three years the world of mobile browsing has been dominated by Apple’s iPhone. But this all looks set to change.

Microsoft have no plans to create their own handsets and will instead licence other manufacturers to use the OS. This means some might have keywords, others may be touch screens but the OS is designed for touch screen input primarily. Microsoft’s minimum spec requirements for handsets indicate that the phones themselves will have cameras, an accelerometer, radio Wi-Fi capability, however.

But the big talking point of the day is what the OS itself can do that will give it any chance of competing with giant that is Apple. The question is, where do you start? Its ‘Hubs’ offer pretty much everything you could want and need from a mobile experience. Its People Hub will offer immense social media integration, taking content from Twitter, Exchange, Gmail and more. It’s Pictures Hub is not only going to be a place to organise and browse the photos on your handset, but will also act as an aggregator to any online galleries such as Facebook or Windows Live. The Office hub looks set to place a bigger emphasis on OneNote and SharePoint Workspace, making opening and organising documents on the go a perfectly realistic option.

The gamers and music fans won’t be disappointed. The Games Hub is set to offer full Xbox Live integration, while the Music and Videos Hub is simply Zune HD on your mobile!  This will make for extremely quick, user friendly browsing and downloading of music and video by 3G and WiFi.

Add to that the email, SMS, calendar, maps and Internet Explorer based browsing functionality and the Windows Mobile 7 Series looks set to take the Smartphone market by storm.

Is Steve Jobs likely to be concerned? Well, maybe. There’s no question that the iPhone was the revolutionary handset in this market, but with Microsoft churning out a mobile OS like this, could potential iPhone buyers be swayed to go with Windows?