Rumor Mill: Microsoft launching Windows Phone 7 in October

Microsoft may have casually let slip that it plans to launch Windows Phone 7 in October. The company has previously said only that it will launch the platform, its bid to regain momentum in smartphones, during the holiday season.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Microsoft's Mich Matthews said Windows Phone 7 will launch "this October." A Microsoft spokesman only said that the company "remains committed to bringing Windows Phone 7 to market this holiday."

In March, Microsoft said multiple carriers will launch Windows Phone 7 devices during the holiday season. The company also said it will work with various, unnamed operators to market the handsets to consumers.

At the time, Aaron Woodman, Microsoft's director of mobile communications, declined to say how many phones will be launched later this year, but he did say the company will have a "sizable" presence during the holiday season.

At the Cannes event, Microsoft's Kostas Mallios said Windows Phone 7 applications will enable advertisers to push offers and news directly to handsets across a new marketing platform dubbed Toast. Mallios, Microsoft's general manager for strategy and business development, added that even when a given app is inactive, a small ad box can slide down from the top of the device screen to notify the user of a new promotion. Users can opt in or out of the Toast platform, Mallios said.

For more:
- see this FierceMobileContent article
- see this Engadget post
- see this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article

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Article updated June 25 with a comment from Microsoft.