updated 10:35 am EDT, Mon August 2, 2010
Microsoft to have last-minute WP7 release in US
Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner is now known to have revealed during the annual Financial Analyst Meeting that Windows Phone 7 will reach the US only in November. Contrary to the company's typical US-focused approach, the first WP7 devices will go to Europe first, in October, and will only reach the US afterwards. The executive didn't justify the timing, but most of Microsoft's launch partners have traditionally launched many smartphones in Europe first.
The statements help elaborate on a strategy which until now had been vague, as Microsoft had previously only said it would have phones ready sometime before the holidays. Its late timing may still prove a challenge, as WP7 phone makers will only start selling devices with the OS in the middle of the holiday shopping season where the iPhone and several Android devices, many of which will be made by the same companies supporting WP7, will have been available for several months. Similar timing is believed to have led to the Zune's struggle, as multiple November launches gave Apple's iPods a head start in sales each year.
Microsoft is known to be at least partly aware of this and has characterized WP7 as a total reboot that sees it scrapping much of its existing footprint for the sake of a better effort. Turner in his speech described the OS as "getting back in the game" by offering a true touchscreen UI and modern features aimed as much at regular home users as business. [via Engadget]