An industry analyst says that Microsoft intends to spend at least $400 million to advertise the launch of Windows Phone 7 operating system.
The replacement for Windows Mobile is scheduled to debut later this year, where it will have to go head-to-head with Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS. The iPhone is well advertised, and so are many Android OS-based models, especially Verizon's Droid series.
Microsoft intends to make sure consumers are aware of its new OS with an advertising blitz, according to Jonathan Goldberg, an analyst with Deutsche Bank. Goldberg claims he got this information straight from Microsoft executives.
The $400 million figure is just for advertising -- the cost of developing Windows Phone 7 is likely much higher.
More about Windows Phone 7
Despite its name, Microsoft's next smartphone operating system has little in common with its predecessors. It will have a completely different user interface and won't run applications written for the earlier versions nor will any current models be upgradeable.
Its focus has moved to consumers, and its UI emphasizes social networking, pictures, games, etc. It has also been redesigned to be controlled with a fingertip.
Just about the only significant similarity between old and new is that both include Microsoft Office Mobile and support for synchronizing with Microsoft Exchange.
Some Industry Interest
According to Goldberg, only three device makers are working on smartphones running Windows Phone 7: HTC, LG, and Samsung. Many of the companies that that had shown interest in the past have since dropped out. This includes Dell, HP, Garmin-Asus, Sony-Ericsson, and Toshiba.
The wireless carrier AT&T has committed to Microsoft's new operating system in a big way. Verizon, on the other hand, will not offer any devices based on Windows Phone 7, according to an unconfirmed report. The carrier supposedly feels burned by the Kin OS fiasco, in which this carrier offered a pair of featurephones from Microsoft that did not sell.
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