In an attempt to make its mark in the burgeoning smartphone market, Microsoft Monday unveiled the handsets that will run on its new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, which clearly is a complete reboot from the company’s current mobile OS.
Introducing the Windows Phone 7 handsets at the company’s New York launch event, CEO Steve Ballmer said that AT&T will be the first carrier to offer the phones - beginning with the Samsung Focus, which will hit the store shelves on November 8.
Ballmer also revealed that AT&T’ two other Windows Phone 7 handsets – the HTC Surround and the LG Quantum - will be released “a few weeks later;” and that the cost of each of these three AT&T handsets will be $199.99.
The AT&T smartphones will come pre-installed with television apps, as well as the U-verse Mobile app that will enable users to download TV shows for a yet-to-be-disclosed monthly charge.
Meanwhile, about the other carriers launching their Windows Phone 7-based handsets, Ballmer revealed that T-Mobile will release its HTC handset in mid-November; while Sprint is expected to launch its first Windows Phone 7 handset early next year.
Noting that the lineup of smart-phone manufacturers building hardware for Windows Phone 7 is ‘encouraging’, a Fort Pitt Capital Group analyst Kim Caughey Forrest said: “We'll see how successful this whole thing is once the phones hit stores, but it really shows that Apple and Microsoft are two different ends of the spectrum.”
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