AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile execs rally behind Microsoft's Windows Phone 8

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AT&T Glenn Lurie

AT&T's Glenn Lurie

SEATTLE--Executives from AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA voiced their support for Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8 platform, and they predicted that in time the operating system will become a strong contender against Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platforms.  

Speaking at the Mobile Future Forward conference here, AT&T's Glenn Lurie said his company believes competition in the smartphone platform market is important. "If customers want it and like it and they use it on my network, I'm happy," said Lurie, president of AT&T's Emerging Devices unit. "I'm bullish on Windows 8 … it's hard to bet against a tablet that does what your PC and desktop will do."

Steve Elfman, Sprint Nextel's president of network operations and wholesale, agreed with Lurie. He noted that adoption is the key to Window Phone's success and Microsoft will need to get its OS on a lot of devices to fulfill its promise. "Adoption is key," he said.

Similarly, Brad Duea, senior vice president of value-added services at T-Mobile USA, said that Windows Phone 8 holds a lot of promise. "We think it's exciting," Duea said.

The comments from the carrier executives reflect what could be increased carrier support for future Windows Phone 8 gadgets, which would be key for Microsoft. Microsoft captured just 2.7 percent of the global smartphone market in the second quarter, according to Gartner.

Earlier this month Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) announced that it will release multiple smartphones in the fourth quarter running Windows Phone 8 software. Verizon also said it is committed to working with Nokia (NYSE:NOK), which recently debuted two Windows phone 8 devices, the high-end Lumia 920 and mid-range Lumia 820.

Interestingly, Duea and Elfman also voiced their support for Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), which plans to unveil its first smartphones running its BlackBerry 10 platform in the first quarter of 2013. Duea said that RIM still has solid base of users who are loyal to the company and its platform. Elfman said he is hopeful for a RIM comeback.  

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