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Microsoft launching Windows Phone 7 October 11

Windows Phone 7

Microsoft and AT&T have sent out official invitations to a launch event for Windows 7 Phone, and the formal unveiling will take place in New York on October 11, with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega. The executives are expected to introduce both Windows PHone 7, as well as a series of devices from manufacturers LG, Samsung, and HTC.

Although AT&T is Microsoft’s front-line partner for the Windows Phone 7 launch, mobile operator T-Mobile also has a spot on the event’s agenda, presumably to show off its own forthcoming Windows Phone 7 offerings.

Windows Phone 7 now has an announcement date, but the companies have so far not revealed when Windows Phone 7 devices will actually go on sale to consumers. Industry speculation at this point still has Windows Phone 7 devices going on sale in Europe in late October, and landing in the United States in November.

In the meantime, it appears Microsoft intends to hold Windows 7 tablets — or, as the company prefers to call them, slates — back from the consumer market until 2011. Although Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said the company has put a high priority on bringing Windows 7 tablets to market, industry watchers aren’t expecting the Windows 7 tablet market to launch in earnest until mid-2011 when Intel’s next-generation “Oak Tree” Atom processors are available to manufacturers.