updated 05:55 pm EDT, Thu September 16, 2010
Verizon snubs Windows Phone 7 with 2011 plans
Verizon set out a major obstacle to Windows Phone 7's adoption today as it revealed that it won't have a Windows Phone 7 device on launch. Carrier spokeswoman Brenda Raney told Bloomberg that there would be no WP7 device at all on Verizon in 2010 and that there would "probably" be a model in 2011. She stressed that the death of the Kin hadn't soured the relationship, which was still "solid."
The blow isn't necessarily fatal to Microsoft as Apple, HTC, Motorola and RIM have all had exclusives to varying degrees. It may nonetheless limit the potential reach as Microsoft's smartphone platform is on a rapid decline in the US and doesn't have the draw that has seen users switch carriers and line up in advance for Android and iPhone launches.
The exclusion also arrives just as talk is mounting of Apple expanding its reach to Verizon and T-Mobile in 2011 and may force Microsoft to compete with the iPhone on most if not all US carriers it serves.
Clues that Verizon might decline to use Windows Phone 7 may have surfaced as early as February. AT&T was named as the preferred carrier partner in the US when Microsoft unveiled its new platform at Mobile World Congress while Verizon, despite its size, made no mention. Most of the Windows Phone 7 devices leaked so far, such as at least one HTC phone and the Samsung Cetus, have been destined for AT&T while Sprint and T-Mobile may have more modest turnouts.