Windows Phone 7 will launch on three AT&T smartphones starting in November. Microsoft is also designing a cut-and-paste feature for the phones.
The first Windows Phone 7 smartphone will launch Nov. 8 on AT&T,
followed a few weeks later by two other devices. Microsoft is also rushing to
push out a cut-and-paste feature for the smartphones by early 2011.
"We knew it was going to be a winner," Ralph de la Vega, president
and CEO of AT&T's Mobility and Consumer
Markets, told assembled media and analysts during Microsoft's
Windows Phone 7 launch event Oct. 11 in New York City
As the premiere U.S.
carrier, AT&T will introduce three Windows Phone 7 devices in November: the
LG Quantum ($199), which features a physical QWERTY keyboard; the HTC
Surround ($199), with a slide-out speaker and a kickstand; and the Samsung
Focus ($199), which AT&T claims will be the thinnest of the initial Windows
Phone 7 devices.
All Windows Phone 7 devices will feature a 1GHz processor. Microsoft has
also imposed fairly strict hardware requirements on its manufacturing partners,
dictating that all devices feature three mechanical buttons and a "pane of
glass" form factor. Before AT&T debuted its devices at the New
York City event, however, there was no official
mention of physical QWERTY keyboards, kickstands or other add-ons being
permitted in the designs.
The Samsung Focus will launch Nov. 8, followed by the other two phones a few
Windows Phone 7 will be initially available only on GSM-based networks such
as AT&T and T-Mobile, with Verizon following in early 2011. Microsoft will
back the phones with a massive marketing campaign, estimated
at $400 million by Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg
"I've been looking forward to this day for some time," Microsoft CEO
Steve Ballmer told the audience at the New York City
event. "We focused in on the way real people really want to use their
phones when they're on the go. We want you to get in, out and back to life."
In total, he added, Microsoft will launch nine Windows Phone 7 devices in
November, from manufacturers including Dell and Samsung.
Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's corporate vice president and director of Windows
Phone Program Management, also said during the launch event that cut-and-paste,
a user-interface option previously announced as being unavailable during
Windows Phone 7's initial release, will make an appearance in early 2011. Some
early criticism of Windows Phone 7 had focused on the initial lack of
cut-and-paste, even though one of Microsoft's chief rivals in the smartphone
space, the Apple iPhone, also lacked cut-and-paste for some time.
Belfiore also demonstrated some previously unannounced features for Windows
Phone 7, such as the ability to snap photos without needing to power the
smartphone to full life. The question confronting Microsoft's designers, he
said, was to build a phone that "anticipates the things [users] want and