Microsoft, Samsung and HTC oficially launched three new Windows Phones optimized for the Mango operating system on November 7.
- Samsung Focus S -- a slim, $200 (estimated retail price) phone with an impressive screen. On AT&T
- Samsung Focus Flash -- a $50 phone with a nice feel and decent, smallish screen. On AT&T
- HTC Radar 4G -- A $100 phone with a front-facing camera, nice silver-metal body. On T-Mobile
At its Big Windows Phone event in New York City's Herald Square, Microsoft officials were on hand to raise visibility of the Windows Phone platform, which is much-needed, given the low penetration of Microsoft's year-old smartphone platform. At a separate Backstage event for press, bloggers and analysts, Microsoft execs distributed to attendees the three aforementioned phones. (I got the HTC Radar to try out for a while.) Spotify also announced availability of its streaming-music app on the Windows Phone platform today.
As I've blogged before, I am a Windows Phone fan and I want to see the phones succeed. The new Mango-centric Windows Phone 7.5 form factors are nicer than the original crop of largely-similar Windows Phones that debuted in the past year.
That said, there were a few things not part of today's launch event that left me wanting.
- Still no update on when Verizon will start offering more Windows Phones. The only Verizon option remains the HTC Trophy 7.
- No update on any new phones for Sprint users, either, as my Twitter buddy Ryan Hoffman noted.
- Still no word on when the HTC Titan will be available for purchase -- beyond "coming soon." The Titan is the "big ass" Windows Phone (4.7-inch display) that will be on AT&T.
- No more detailed information on Nokia's planned launch date or phones for the U.S. beyond what's already been said ("early 2012")
- No update on when Microsoft will bring to market a Skype app for Windows Phone and/or integrated Skype support as part of the Windows Phone OS base platform. There also was no new information on when Microsoft's Lync unified communications client will be out. (The Softies previously have said before the end of this calendar year.)
Here are a couple of Windows-Phone-related tidbits from the past couple of days worth calling out:
- Achim Berg, the former head of Windows Phone Marketing, has a new title. His new bio on the Microsoft site, as of November 7, lists him as "Corporate vice president of operator channels at Microsoft, responsible for driving close collaboration with operator, hoster, cable and media partners to create new business opportunities and bring innovative services and devices to consumers, small businesses and enterprise users."
- Gavin Kim, the VP of Consumer and Enterprise Services at Samsung, "has just announced that he will be leaving in order to join up with Microsoft as general manager of the Windows Phone team," says TechCrunch. Microsoft officials said Kim's new title at Microsoft will be "General Manager, Windows Phone Product Management."
- Good chart from Microsoft Zune Most Valuable Professional Marques Lyons that highlights features that are available on the discontinued Zune media players that aren't on Windows Phone, Xbox 360 or Windows PCs.
- Microsoft, as of September, has made cameras optional for OEMs building Windows Phones. Not just front-facing cameras, but any camera. The move is believed to enable handset makers to build cheaper form factors for markets where they're required. (This item is via @MSNerd and Neowin.net.)