Last week, Microsoft held a financial analyst meeting, at which the big news was that Microsoft plans to storm the consumer tablet market this year with “slates” from a variety of OEMs, following up with devices based on Intel’s forthcoming “Oak Trail” processors in 2011. However, Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner also took part in the meeting, and revealed Microsoft is apparently planning to debut Windows Phone 7 in Europe this October, followed by a U.S. launch in November.
If true, the approach would run counter to Microsoft’s typical approach of introducing devices first to the U.S. marketing and then rolling them out internationally. However, many of Microsoft’s OEM launch partners for Windows Phone 7 have historically launched many of their smartphone devices in Europe before bringing them to the United States.
Turners remarks are the most specific comments Microsoft has made to date about the launch of Windows Phone 7; so far, the company has made no official announcements about products, pricing, or availability.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system is an attempt to have a clean break with previous versions of Windows Mobile—there won’t be any backward compatibility for existing Windows Mobile applications. Windows Phone 7 is aimed at the same sort of consumers and business users attracted to the iPhone and Android devices, and will feature a touchscreen-oriented interface. Of course, being a brand new operating system, it’s not going to have the depth of third party applications available to the iPhone or Android devices; as such, Microsoft is funding the development of selected third-party Windows Phone 7 apps to help the platform get off to a strong start.
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