Microsoft today announced that Windows phones will be widely available at retail stores worldwide on Oct. 6, 2009. The new phones will be the first to feature Windows Mobile 6.5.
Windows phones are ideal devices for work and play, giving consumers the confidence to get things done with mobile versions of the software they recognize and expect from their PCs. The redesigned Internet Explorer Mobile browser includes a new engine and built-in Adobe Flash Lite support for better rendering and completion of tasks. Microsoft Office Outlook Mobile delivers a familiar e-mail experience across the PC, phone and browser, while Microsoft Office Mobile allows customers to open and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents right from their phone. With Windows Live on their phones, users can keep track of friends in one place, no matter which social networking sites they belong to - Facebook, Twitter or MySpace Windows Live.
Windows phones will debut with two new mobile services. A wide variety of applications will be available for direct download to Windows phones from Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and a return policy lets customers buy with confidence. The free My Phone service allows customers to automatically back up and sync photos, music, contacts and text messages from their phone to the Web, making it easy to access and manage them from their phone or PC or restore the information in the event of a lost phone.
Windows phones give consumers the choice of a broad selection of form factors from sleek, touch-screen devices to full QWERTY keyboards to make it easy to find a phone that fits their needs. Windows Mobile 6.5 also provides access to third-party applications such as Facebook, Netflix and Zagat, and an improved, touch-friendly user interface. With the new version, users can change the look and feel of their phones with designer themes or a personal background and customize their home screen with widgets so the information they need is always easy to find.
AT&T, Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless will all market new Windows Mobile phones, Microsoft said. AT&T will give people who use Windows Mobile 6.5 phones with certain data plans access to its network of Wi-Fi hot spots without additional charge.
In Europe, Mobile operators Orange, Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc, and phone manufacturers Acer, HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba will release Windows Mobile 6.5 phones.
Microsoft's partners in Asia Pacific include mobile operators NTT DOCOMO Inc., SOFTBANK Mobile Corp., SK Telecom, Telstra and WILLCOM Inc., and phone manufacturers Acer Inc., HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba.