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Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 7 handsets, due in AT&T stores Nov. 8

October 11, 2010 |  9:42 am

Microsoft Corp., hoping to reestablish itself as a serious competitor in the smartphone market, unveiled the first handsets that will run on its new mobile operating system Windows Phone 7. SamsungFocus_ATT_2_web

AT&T customers will get their Windows Phone 7 offerings before other carriers -- with the Samsung Focus handset arriving in stores Nov. 8 and phones from HTC and LG coming "a few weeks later," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said at the event in New York.

"When Microsoft first showed us Windows Phone 7, we knew it was going to be a winner," said Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's chief executive of mobility and consumer markets. "It was different than anything we have seen."

T-Mobile and Sprint will begin offering Windows Phone 7 handsets next year.

The latest moves by Microsoft comes as the technology giant tries to catch up in the burgeoning smartphone market, which is currently dominated by Research in Motion's BlackBerry, Apple's iPhone and Google's Android software.

Some features of the first three phones:

Samsung Focus 

-- 4-inch "Super AMOLED" screen, touted to be the sharpest display of Windows Phones

-- Thinnest of all Windows Phone 7 phones at 9.9 mm

-- 5 megapixel camera HTC_Surround_ATT_3_web

-- 8 GB storage

HTC Surround

-- 3.8-inch screen

-- Kickstand on the back of the phone

-- Dual Dolby surround-sound speakers 

-- 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash that can shoot 720p video

-- 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor

LG Quantum

-- Slide-out QWERTY keyboard

-- 16 GB storage

-- 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor

Integration with Microsoft's Office software suite was shown off at the event, where it also was announced that video-game heavyweight Electronic Arts will have games, including Sims 3, available at launch that will integrate with Microsoft's Xbox 360 home console.

LG_Quantum_ATT_3_web  "It's a different kind of phone," Ballmer said. "It gets you in, gets you out and back to life as fast as humanly possible."

One thing the phones won't have until early 2011 is a copy and paste feature.

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photos: Samsung Focus (top), HTC Surround (middle), LG Quantum (bottom). Credit: Microsoft Corp.

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