Microsoft has announced that the big five mobile operators and two retailers will offer Windows Phone 7 (WP7) smartphones when the new OS launches later this year, possibly October but nobody is willing to say exactly when.
The list of operators includes Orange, O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile and 3, along with retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones4u.
Alex Reeve, Director, Mobile Business Group, Microsoft UK, said: “Following our announcement at Mobile World Congress that Orange will be our lead partner, it is wonderful now to have all of the UK’s network operators supporting the launch of Windows Phone 7. This means we can provide network choice and also a range of phones across networks for customers to choose from, all with the power of Windows Phone 7. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with these major industry players.”
It would be very unlikely, given the current market that Microsoft wouldn’t be pairing up with all the operators. iPhone is everywhere, Android is everywhere so to be in with a chance of getting market share quickly, Microsoft also need to be on all operators. What does surprise us is that they’ve chosen a lead operator – and that they’ve chosen Orange. Presumably this means Orange will be the first to release the phones, and then a few days/weeks later the others will get them. Orange must have paid a pretty penny to get this deal. The question is have Microsoft shot themselves in the foot for the sake of a few million from Orange.
Three questions remain; will Microsoft sell the phones themselves? Where’s Tesco? and WHEN?[ad name=”Google Text half banner advert “]