Microsoft: More than 1.5 million Windows Phone 7s sold to date

On December 21, in an article on its Web site for the press, Microsoft officials said that its phone partners have sold "over 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks" they were available.

After weeks of avoiding answering questions about how many Windows Phone 7 devices have been sold since their launch in late October, Microsoft execs have decided to release figures.

On December 21, in an article on its Web site for the press, Microsoft officials said that its phone partners have sold "over 1.5 million phones in the first six weeks" they were available.

Update: This number represents sales of Windows Phone 7 phones from phone makers to carriers. It is not the number of phones sold to customers by the carriers.

Windows Phone 7 devices went on sale in Europe on October 21 and in the U.S. on November 8. In the U.S., only two carriers currently offer the GSM-only phones: AT&T and T-Mobile. In early 2011, Verizon and Sprint are expected to begin selling CDMA Windows Phone 7 devices.

Sales might have been higher, had phone makers and carriers actually provided sufficient stock. Or if phone makers didn't have to delay shipping models with various technical glitches. But in any case, that 1.5 million figure is quite a bit higher than various (informed and uninformed) estimates I've seen.

Microsoft is expected to deliver an update to the Windows Phone 7 operating system in early 2011 that will add support for copy and paste, along with other new functionality. My sources have indicated that a major operating system update, codenamed "Mango," is coming in the third quarter of 2011 and will include support for Silverlight and HTML 5.

Microsoft execs are not commenting on the company's future roadmap for the Windows Phone OS. When I asked, a spokesperson provided the following official statement:

"Microsoft will push Windows Phone 7 software updates to end users and all Windows Phone 7 devices will be eligible for updates. As Microsoft has stated previously, they are committed to delivering regular updates to the Windows Phone experience with our partners. We have no further information to share on future updates."