Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Launches Today

The highly anticipated Microsoft Windows Phone 7 operating system is expected to be finally unveiled in a short while from now. The announcement is expected to be made at around 9.30 AM Eastern Time as part of the company’s media event at New York City.

If you are wondering if the event this will also include the launch of Windows Phone 7 based handsets, then the answer is no. The Windows Phone 7 based handsets are expected to be announced in Europe on October 21 and in the USA on the 8th of next month. There is not much word on when these devices will be made available in the rest of the world. But knowing that this is Microsoft and not Apple that we are talking about, expect these launches to happen much sooner.

Microsoft’s media event shall be streamed live on the Microsoft website. If you are eager to catch up on the announcement, you can click here to watch it starting 6.30 AM Pacific Time.

Samsung Windows Phone 7 Device Launch In UK On October 21?

While there has been a lot of discussion lately regarding the launch date of the Windows Phone 7 operating system, there has been no real word about when the actual handsets will be available to the consumers. Looks like the phones too will be launched alongside the official release of the OS. Sounds like a no-brainer right now, but then you never know. A new post on Engadget however removes the wrap on the official release dates for the first batch of Windows Phone 7 handsets as it gets hold of a document that reveals that a Three UK Samsung handset running Windows Phone 7 is going to be released on October 21.

While the document does not say anything about the device manufacturer, the note however reads that the display shall be Super AMOLED and will come with a 5-Megapixel camera and a 4″ display. That is probably indicative of Samsung Cetus, but we will still wait for an official announcement to confirm.

Spotify Music Streaming App For Windows Phone Platform Launched

Microsoft has partnered with popular music streaming service, Spotify, to announce the new music streaming app for the Windows Phone mobile operating system. The application can be downloaded from the Windows marketplace for mobile starting today.

Now since Spotify is presently not available in most parts of the world outside Europe, you may have to wait for an invite to register if you are from elsewhere. However, if you are from a country like UK, you can start listening to streaming music from the free ad-supported Spotify application or alternatively, also pay up £9.99 every month for an ad-free music streaming service.

Interestingly, Spotify has also announced that their service will be available on the upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform when the new OS launches this year. If recent rumors are anything to go by, that would imply an October 21 launch date in Europe.

Users outside Europe have been anxiously awaiting the launch of this service in their regions and the service is expected to launch at least in USA by the end of this year. Can’t wait to see how Spotify is adopted by the Windows Mobile toting users in Europe for the moment though.

Windows Phone 7 Worldwide Launch Dates Revealed

So as you may have heard already, Microsoft is holding an official launch event for the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system next week at New York City. While the launch dates are officially still not out (that is what the October 11 event is for!), we are however hearing some talk about this being a worldwide release. And according to some people who claim to be in the know, the launch is expected to happen in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe on October 21 with the new platform hitting USA only on November 8. Launch in Asia starts October 21 though it is going to be only in a few countries to begin with.

What this means is that technically New Zealand will be the first country to see the launch of the new phone since it is on the east. Nevertheless, do remember that this is a rumor as of now and so keep waiting for the official word.

Official HTC Mondrian Windows Phone 7 Device Pics Revealed

You may have already heard about HTC Mondrian as one of the upcoming HTC handsets that will run the much anticipated Windows Phone 7 mobile OS . Now, we just got more close-up pictures of this new device, thanks to some official press shots leaked by a German website. From what we see, the new HTC Mondrian could come with a single LED flash and a removable upper portion for inserting SIM card and microSD cards.

The HTC Mondrian is speculated to come with a 1.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera,  GPS connectivity and an FM Radio. The photos also reveal a silver button on the side that could possibly help snapping pictures, though that is just a guess. A couple of pictures that have been revealed in the latest leak is embedded below. Do you like what you see?

HTC MondrianHTC Mondrian rear

[via Electric Pig]

Windows Phone 7 Launch In USA Scheduled For November 8?

Reports earlier this month suggested that Microsoft was organizing an event on October 11 in New York City. The agenda was rumored to be the official launch of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 mobile OS. While that is still a rumor with no confirmation from Redmond, we are now hearing that the official launch in US would rather happen on November 8. According to sources, Microsoft is indeed holding an event on October 11 at NYC. However, that event is not related to the Windows Phone 7. The source goes on to say that the actual launch in US is set to happen on November 8.

This is in line with statements made by Microsoft’s COO Kevin Turner earlier this month where he had indicated that the upcoming mobile platform will first launch in Europe followed by a holiday season launch in US.

Nevertheless, mark this as a rumor for the moment till we get an official word.

No USB Tethering On Windows Phone 7

Earlier this month, there were reports that suggested that Microsoft could be offering the USB tethering functionality on Windows Phone 7. This must have got many of you excited considering that many carriers, at least in the US, offering tethering as a value-added service at extremely steep rates of $20 to $30 a month.

The excitement died a little when it was later revealed that it was up to the carriers to either enable or disable the feature on their networks. However, it now appears that the whole announcement could be wrong. Microsoft has come out with a statement letting us know that the USB tethering functionality shall not be provided on Windows Phone 7; at least in the initial phase of launch. Apparently, this was a feature “on the bubble” before Microsoft moved to the final RTM phase. Microsoft has dismissed the speculations as misinformation.

Regardless, now that we know that the new Windows Phone 7 is not going to come with one of its core USPs, I wonder if this is going to be a deal-breaker.

Nokia Windows Phone 7 Smartphones In The Works?

Nokia EVP Anssi Vanjoki had stated earlier this week that adopting Android was a short-term solution to a long term problem. Well that does not technically imply that Nokia is planning to stick to Symbian and MeeGo alone to compete against the likes of iPhone and Android handsets. According to a report on the VentureBeat, Stephen Elop; the new CEO of Nokia has given the go-ahead for his team to explore Windows Phone 7 as a possible platform alternative for their handsets.

With Symbian enjoying continued patronage from Nokia, the arrival of Windows Phone 7 handsets could mean Nokia could be compromising on its MeeGo adoption. Of course, these are still speculations at the moment. However it is unlikely for Espoo to compromise on Symbian given the high popularity of the platform in Europe and Asia.

Windows Phone 7 Phones On Verizon Not Coming Anytime Soon

Microsoft is working hard to launch a peppier smartphone OS with the Windows Phone 7 in the next couple of months. However, Verizon may not be joining the party until later. In an interview to Bloomberg, Verizon spokesperson Brenda Raney has noted that Verizon Wireless does not have any plans to launch Windows Phone 7 handsets in the near-term. That’s at least till the end of this year. She has said that the relationship with Redmond remains “solid” and so a launch in 2011 cannot be ruled out.

The reasons are not pretty hard to fathom. Microsoft and Verizon burnt their fingers not so long ago with the launch of Kin. Initial reports suggested that not more than 500 hundred handsets were sold in all, though several other reports pointed out that the sale numbers were in the thousands. Either way, the launch was a flop and Microsoft had to halt the Kin project within months of launch.

It is possible that Verizon has chosen to wait and study the consumer reception to Windows Phone 7 and then take a decision on how to go about partnering Microsoft.

USB Tethering On Windows Phone 7 – Without Additional Carrier Fee

If this rumor turns out to be true, Microsoft could be setting the benchmark on what has primarily been a carrier-bullied feature – the ability to tether your device to a PC or another internet capable device without the need to pay additional fee for doing so. Most smartphones today allow USB tethering. But the trouble is that this feature is enabled by the carrier after the user pays an additional monthly fee in the range of $20-$30. Despite paying such a significant fee, tethering does not get users any additional data bandwidth proving to be a costly money-milking exercise from carriers.

With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft could be making it easy for users to tether their phone to a laptop or netbook and get started on browsing the internet without having to pay any additional fee to the carrier. According to Richard Dudley, a Windows development evangelist, this is the official word. Nevertheless, it makes sense to wait for the official ‘official word‘ before we get too excited.