Microsoft, LG Plan Free Windows Phone 7 Apps

Microsoft and LG Electronics plan to offer a rotating collection of free apps to owners of LG-built Windows Phone 7 smartphones.

Microsoft and LG Electronics plan to offer 10 free mobile applications to owners of LG-built Windows Phone 7 smartphones. LG will offer 10 new apps every 60 days, via the Application Store preinstalled on its devices.

"When we pledged early this year to support Microsoft's smartphone strategy, we knew we were making a decision that had the potential to create ripples in the ecosystem," Chang Ma, vice president of LG's mobile communications marketing strategy team, wrote in a Nov. 4 statement. "Microsoft's commitment to the developer community is well known and respected in the industry, and we look forward to seeing this partnership with Microsoft lead to greater things."

The 10 apps themselves will hail from a variety of categories, such as social connectivity and gaming, and have a $30 retail value.

Microsoft is pushing its latest smartphone platform to be a success, in order to regain ground in mobile lost over the past few years to the likes of the Apple iPhone and Google Android. The company is reportedly planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on its initial marketing effort, and has spent the summer encouraging third-party developers to build games and more productivity-centric apps for the platform.

In international markets, Windows Phone 7 seems to be off to a solid start. DigiTimes reported in a Nov. 3 article that sales of HTC-built Windows Phone 7 smartphones are "better than expected" in Europe and Australia.

"Early supporters of the new operating system such as South Korea's Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are also experiencing rising demand from carriers," the article suggested, indicating that the sales information came from unnamed "Taiwan-based handset makers."

Stocks of Windows Phone 7 devices in the U.K. are also low, according to new reports from media outlets in that country. "We will be launching with limited amounts of both our Windows Phone 7 devices, the HTC 7 Mozart and the Samsung Omnia 7," a representative from U.K. carrier Orange wrote in an e-mail to Mobile Today. "We are, however, anticipating that our competitors could be in a similar situation."

Windows Phone 7 will make its debut in the U.S. market Nov. 8, carried initially on AT&T. The carrier's initial push centers on three devices: the HTC Surround ($199) with a slide-out speaker and kickstand; the Samsung Focus ($199), reportedly the thinnest of the early Windows Phone 7 smartphones; and the LG Quantum ($199), which features a physical QWERTY keyboard.