Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Lineup with AT&T, T-Mobile
Microsoft officially unveiled its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system Monday, announcing that it will be available on a total of five devices in the U.S.
Windows Phone 7 handsets from AT&T and T-Mobile will begin shipping in November, while devices from Sprint and Verizon will be available next year. All the devices announced Monday will run a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Microsoft said.
At a New York launch event, Microsoft chief executive characterized Windows Phone 7 as a means to keep in touch but not be tied to your phone 24-7. “Get in, out, and back to life,” Ballmer said. The experience should be “delightful.”
AT&T will support three Windows Phone 7 devices—the HTC Surround, the Samsung Focus, and the LG Quantum.
The HTC Surround includes a 3.8-inch touch screen, and is the first smartphone to include integrated Dolby Mobile and SRS surround sound speakers, AT&T said. It has 16GB on onboard storage, a kickstand on the back, and a 5-megapixel camera. It is the “perfect device for media and gaming enthusiasts,” Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said at the event.
The LG Quantum (above) has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 3.5-inch screen, and 16GB of onboard storage. It also includes a pre-loaded app called Play To, which allows users to wirelessly stream videos, music, and pictures from the phone to DLNA-enabled TV, stereo, Windows 7 PCs, and other consumer electronics devices.
Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7
Finally, the Samsung Focus (right) will be the thinnest Windows Phone at 9.9mm. Its Super AMOLED touch screen will make the Focus the “best-looking screen on any Windows Phone,” de la Vega said. It also includes a 5-megapixel camera and 8GB of onboard storage.
AT&T Windows Phones will also include a U-verse app that allows users to download and watch TV shows on their devices, de la Vega said. The app has been an entertainment option on AT&T phones since earlier this year, but it will now be available on all Windows Phone 7 devices for a monthly fee. It will also work on Xbox 360.
The Samsung Focus will debut on Nov. 8; the Quantum and Surround will be available “for the holidays.” All AT&T phones will be sold in AT&T stores and online for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
T-Mobile, meanwhile, will release the HTC HD7 and the Dell Venue Pro.
The HTC HD7 includes a 4.3-inch, 800-by-480 LCD screen on the front and a kickstand on the back. The Venue Pro also looks big: it has a 4.1-inch screen and 5.1-megapixel camera.
In all, Microsoft announced nine Windows Phone 7 phones on Monday, the remainder of which will be available in Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Singapore, and Australia. It will debut in some European markets on Oct. 21.
Electronics Arts also announced the first wave of games coming to Windows Phone 7, including “Need for Speed Undercover,” “Tetris,” and “The Sims 3.” All EA games for Windows Phones will be Xbox Live-enabled.
The Windows Phone 7 interface, meanwhile, includes tiles on the home screen for People, Music and video, Photos, Games and Office. Facebook photos, music and contacts are pulled into the phone and distributed across Hubs. It also brings together many Microsoft products, like Xbox, Zune, Office, and Bing. Copy and paste functionality will be available as an update in early 2011, Microsoft said Monday.
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