Curtain raised on first Windows Phone 7 devices

Michael Carroll
telecomasia.net
Microsoft yesterday revealed the handsets that will spearhead its latest attempt to conquer the smartphone software market.
 
The firm unveiled nine handsets running its new Windows Phone 7 software from HTC, Samsung, LG Electronics and Dell that will ship in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific from November 8.
 
European carriers O2, SFR, Movistar, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone will have devices at launch, along with AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Telus and América Móvil in the Americas, and SingTel and Telstra in Asia-Pacific.
 
However, Verizon Wireless and Sprint will have to wait until 2011 for CDMA versions of the new smartphones, despite all the devices running a Snapdragon processor from CDMA pioneer Qualcomm.
 
A total of 60 carriers in 30 countries have committed to launching Windows Phone 7 devices, Microsoft revealed.
 
Chief Steve Ballmer called the first handsets “beautiful,” and said Microsoft and its partners “are delivering a different kind of mobile phone and experience.”
 
Windows Phone director Joe Belfiore said “hundreds of thousands” of developers had downloaded the new platform’s software development kit, WSJ.com reported.
 
But there was no word on how many apps will be available at launch, only news that EA Sports has several games ready to go.
 
The platform launches into a market where Android is becoming increasingly dominant, becoming the top-selling smartphone platform in the US during 2Q, according to Nielsen.
 
However, HTC boss Peter Chou backed Microsoft to succeed, telling Bloomberg it was unwise to write the software giant off.
 
Chou predicts Windows Phone 7 to help his firm maintain strong smartphone sales, after its stocks of Android devices helped it to record 2Q profits, the news site said.

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