AT&T mobile chief: Windows 8 can boost Windows Phone

Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, sees a possible Windows 8-Windows Phone juggernaut.

The launch of Nokia's Lumia 900 on AT&T's network has exceeded expectations and momentum for Windows Phone is likely to build when Windows 8 launches, according to Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility.

Speaking at the JP Morgan technology conference, de la Vega was asked about the Lumia. He said:

I am really pleased with what I am seeing out of Microsoft and Nokia coming out with their first product. The operating system works really well. It is simple, it is easy to use, it is intuitive.

The reception to the Lumia launch has actually exceeded our expectations. So we think there is a very good chance that Microsoft will have a very good OS that will be right in there with iOS and Android.

When they come out with Windows 8 in the fourth quarter, I think it will actually add to the value that that OS brings to the marketplace, in that that will be the first time that you can truly have a similar experience on your PC, on your tablet, and on your smartphone from soft Microsoft. From what I have seen and the previews that I have been given, I think it is going to be exceptionally good. I am very upbeat in what they are bringing to the market.

De la Vega's comments come as analysts are starting to pooh-pooh the Windows 8 launch. Microsoft's Windows 8 launch will be a key inflection point for the company. If Windows 8 stumbles, Microsoft will struggle with its tablet plans and the Metro interface may hamper Windows Phone too. On the other side of the equation, Windows 8 and its new interface could be a hit and provide Microsoft with its own halo effect.

Place your bets because no one knows how Windows 8---and its effect on Windows Phone---will fare until the fourth quarter.

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