Report: Microsoft, AT&T launching Windows Phone 7 Oct. 11

Microsoft and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) scheduled a launch event for Windows Phone 7 in New York City Oct. 11, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

AT&T will launch three Windows Phone smartphones the week of Nov. 8, the report said, including devices from HTC, LG and Samsung, and will promote them with a marketing effort. Citing an unnamed source familiar with Microsoft's manufacturer and carrier agreements, TechCrunch reported in August Microsoft will spend $1 billion on its Windows Phone 7 launch, half on marketing and the other half on development.

Representatives from Microsoft and AT&T declined to comment.

AT&T pledged in late July that it will be the "premier carrier" for Windows Phone 7. Microsoft said recently that only GSM carriers will be supporting the platform at launch. GSM carrier T-Mobile USA, a strong supporter of Google's Android platform, was named as an early partner for the platform, but has not tipped its hand on when it might launch Windows Phone devices.

"We've been impressed by the smart design of Windows Phone 7 Series and look forward to our continued partnership with Microsoft," Paul Cole, vice president of product development for T-Mobile, told FierceWireless. "We think our customers will enjoy the truly integrated experiences Microsoft plans to deliver."

Microsoft has a great deal riding on the success of the platform, especially after the high-profile flop of its Kin phones. Indeed, Android and Apple's iOS have eclipsed Microsoft's old Windows Mobile platform in the white-hot smartphone market. According to research firm Gartner, Android commanded 17.2 percent of the smartphone market in the second quarter, and Apple had 14.2 percent. Windows Mobile captured 5 percent of the market, down from 9.3 percent in the second quarter of 2009.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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