months of speculation,
change, a publicity
stunt burying the iPhone and Blackberry, and an
event held last month (followed by an
unprecedented ad campaign that's been running since then),
the cat is finally out of the bag today -- Windows Phone 7 devices
are now officially available in the U.S.
devices are available from the
Microsoft online store: the HTC HD7 for T-Mobile, the HTC
Surround for AT&T, and the Samsung Focus for AT&T. Any of the
three devices will run you $199.99 on a qualifying two-year contract.
All three are comparable in terms of specs. They vary slightly in
screen size (4.3" HD7, 4.0" Focus, 3.8" Surround),
Surround sports a slide-out Dolby speaker for enhanced audio
review of the HD7, which proclaims that though it is a solid
piece of good-sized hardware, but its build quality is sub-par and
the screen contrast and viewing angles are poor. The Focus, on the
other hand, is
like the WP7 version of Galaxy S. Success or failure of
these devices will depend on what users think
of the new OS.
online store is offering all three devices for only $149.99,
and also boasts the full-QWERTY LG Quantum for AT&T (currently
out of stock) for the same price. Prices fall to as low as $99 over
Amazon Wireless Store.
also reporting that
the Dell Venue Pro, the
device that Dell employees will be trading their
Blackberries in for, will be available in Microsoft retail locations.
sales, though not always an indication of how a product will do (see:
Android and the T-Mobile G1), will undoubtedly be closely watched by
Microsoft and its competitors. Here's hoping WP7 fares better
last big mobile launch.