Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was the MC at an event in NYC today where the wraps came off five smartphones running Windows Phone 7, his company’s latest mobile operating system.
AT&T unveiled three models, while T-Mobile announced two. These will have a range of designs, but will all be high-end devices with WVGA (800 x 480) touchscreens, 1 GHz processors, 3G, Wi-Fi, and GPS.
Three of the newly-announced devices have a tablet shape, though there is still some variation in the form factors.
The HTC HD7 is going to have the largest display of any of of the new Windows Phone 7 models: 4.3 inches. It is headed for T-Mobile.
The Surround will have an unusual addition: a panel that can slide to expose a pair of Dolby Surround Sound speakers.
The only Windows Phone 7 model announced today with a landscape oriented keyboard is AT&T’s LG Quantum. This smartphone is going to have a 3.5-inch touchscreen.
T-Mobile will be offering the Dell Venue Pro, which is going to sport a portrait-oriented keyboard, as well as a 4.1-inch display.
A Tough Row to Hoe
This new crop of Windows Phone 7-based devices are going to meet with strong competition from popular models running Google’s Android OS as well as Apple’s iPhone.
Microsoft’s new operating system is the replacement for Windows Mobile, but will have little in common with its predecessor. Its focus has moved to consumers, its user interface has been completely re-written, and it won’t run applications written for the earlier versions.
Although these five smartphones have been officially announced, they won’t hit store shelves for some time.
AT&T will launch its three models — the Surround, Quantum, and Focus — on November 8.
T-Mobile is more vague about when the HD7 and Venue Pro will be released, just saying that they will be available in time for the holiday shopping season.