Microsoft and Telstra have scheduled a ritzy Sydney launch next Tuesday morning to unveil their mutual plans to start selling phones with the software giant's Windows Phone 7 platform.
The event will be held at Sydney's Luxe Studios, an exclusive development facility that is also used for events. In attendance will be Microsoft Australia chief executive Tracey Fellows and Telstra chief marketing officer Kate McKenzie.
So far, the pair have not revealed any details of the handsets, plans or bundled content and applications they will go to market with for Windows Phone 7, which was first unveiled back in February.
In a briefing in August, Telstra would only say that there would be a number of different handsets available to consumers at launch, that the devices were slated to go on sale before Christmas and that its Hub application would be featured on Windows Phone 7.
The software constitutes a news, application and entertainment portal, although Telstra is still working on the video streaming aspect and is being developed by local start-up development house Xamling. Fairfax is also developing software to run on Windows Phone 7.
The news comes as competition in the smartphone market is running white hot. Telstra this morning released what it called its "Smartphone index", a piece of research put together by Nielsen that showed Australia was currently obsessed with the multifunction devices.
A wave of smartphones based on Google's Android platform is currently hitting the market in time for Christmas, and Apple's iPhone 4 has suffered stock shortage problems due to demand over the past several months. Nokia, too, is refusing to be left out, with its flagship N8 handset soon to launch in Australia, although the company has not yet said precisely how the device will launch in Australia.