Microsoft will formally unveil Windows Phone 7 in a high-profile New York City event Oct. 11. Microsoft hopes Windows Phone 7 will attract users from Android and the iPhone.
Microsoft will launch Windows Phone 7 at a high-profile
event in New York City Oct. 11. An invite sent to media confirms AT&T's
involvement as a premier carrier for the upcoming smartphone platform; a
separate Microsoft Webpage suggests that representatives from T-Mobile will
also be present.
The launch event will kick off with a morning press
conference hosted by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Ralph de la Vega,
president and CEO of AT&T's Mobility and Consumer Markets. Following that,
Microsoft will host a "device showcase" featuring AT&T smartphones running
Windows Phone 7.
Later that afternoon, Microsoft will host an "Open House"
event, where it will display many of its upcoming products such as Xbox Kinect
and Windows Phone 7.
While the day's media invite only mentions AT&T, a
page on Microsoft's corporate Website
lists as an agenda item: "T-Mobile
reps will be present for device showing and their service offering discussion."
T-Mobile is reportedly preparing an HTC HD7 smartphone running Windows Phone 7
for U.S. release.
Microsoft had previously confirmed that Windows Phone 7 will
appear first on GSM-based cellular networks such as AT&T's, before being
available on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) carriers-including Verizon-in
the first half of 2011. During the Oct. 11 event, AT&T executives will
likely provide a timeframe for an actual device launch, although previous
reports have suggested an early November timeframe.
"In developing Windows Phone 7, we are placing high-quality
customer experiences above all else," a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in a Sept.
17 e-mail to eWEEK. "In keeping with this goal, Microsoft chose to focus on
delivering a great GSM version to the world first, and then a great CDMA
version in the first half of 2011."
In September, Microsoft released the final version of its
Windows Phone Developer Tools, which it hopes will compel developers to design
a wide variety of applications for the platform. Twitter, Netflix, OpenTabe,
Flixster and Travelocity are some of the higher-profile companies planning to
have apps available for Windows Phone 7 upon its release.
Microsoft will spend nearly a half-billion dollars in
marketing during Windows Phone 7's initial rollout, according to Deutsche Bank
analyst Jonathan Goldberg. "This is make-or-break for them. They need to do
whatever it takes to stay in the game," he
told the blog TechCrunch Aug. 26
. "They don't have to take share from
Android or Apple, so long as they can attract enough consumers switching from
Nonetheless, fierce competition with Google Android devices
and the Apple iPhone is widely credited with having driven down Microsoft's
smartphone market share over the past several
quarters; although the company's Mobile franchise once held a comfortable
portion of the market, largely thanks to business adoption, the rise of those
other platforms saw a corresponding dip in Microsoft's user base.