AT&T Commits to Windows Phone 7 in a Big Way

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Microsoft has said that smartphones running Windows Phone 7 are going to be released by a wide selection of wireless carriers, but AT&T says that it’s going to be the best source for models running this new operating system.

A spokesperson for the carrier told PCWorld, “We’ll be the premier carrier for Windows Phone 7.”

AT&T hasn’t given any specifics about its plans, but Microsoft has promised that the first models running its new OS will be on the market in time for the holiday shopping season at the end of this year.

Asus Windows Phone 7 SmartphoneAccording to analyst Michael Gartenberg from Altimeter Group, AT&T has pre-ordered 8 million devices running Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft says that T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, and many other carriers are also going to offer models based on the upcoming version of this operating system.

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.

Three Possible Options
Last week, Microsoft began sending prototype phones from Asus, LG, and Samsung to mobile application developers.

The initial Asus model running WP7 has a tablet shape with a minimalistic design. It has two cameras, though, one front facing.

Samsung’s first Windows Phone 7 model also has a tablet shape, and its design includes lots of chrome.

LG’s has a sliding landscape oriented keyboard, but is still be just a bit thicker than an iPhone. It has  a trackpad below its touchscreen, and also sports a front-facing camera.

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