Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 7, will hit U.S. in November

by Kelly MacNeil on October 12, 2010

In the race for smartphone supremacy, Microsoft has been a distant third behind Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. Although they may be trailing, The Seattle Times reports that the company recently unveiled their new Windows Phone 7 platform in an effort to be more competitive with the leaders in mobile operating systems.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer announced the release of the phone on Tuesday during an event in New York City. The device is scheduled to be released in the United States in November, first with AT&T Wireless, then T-Mobile and later Sprint. Ballmer said that the phone will diverge from the iPhone and the Android in that it will offer consumers a quicker, more flexible option.

“We want to let you get in, out and back to life and have that be as fast and simple as humanly possible,” Ballmer told those in attendance.

One of the biggest differences between the Phone 7 and the iPhone is how it is laid out. The iPhone incorporates a grid of square icons but according to the news source, the Phone 7 uses a large block of customizable tiles for contacts, the user’s calendar and music. Additionally, Microsoft has made it possible to use Office on the Phone 7, making it easy to edit Word documents or Excel spreadsheets from the phone.

Television spots for the device are expected to hit the airwaves stateside in late October, and while it’s slated to be available to U.S. users in less than a month, consumers in Europe and Asia will get the first taste of the phone when it is released overseas on October 21. Eventually, the company claims that the phone will be available in more than 30 countries and under 60 different carriers.

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