Windows Phone 7 launch: Europe one step ahead of the US

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system is set to land in the hands of Europeans before those of our friends in the US

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system is set to hit Europe before it arrives in the US. The hotly anticipated next-gen OS is "likely" to arrive on these shores in October, according to a Microsoft exec.

Microsoft big cheese Kevin Turner said that Windows Phone 7 would put the company "back in the game" in the smart-phone market, allowing it to take on the iPhone and try to halt the runaway success of Android. We were so busy chortling over Turner's claim that the iPhone 4 was "the new Vista" in his bullish presentation at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference that we almost missed the date revelation, spotted by Engadget.

Turner revealed that Windows Phone 7 would "likely" arrive in Europe "in the October time frame" -- he means 'in October' -- and reach the US "in the November time frame" -- he means 'in November'.

It's unusual for Europe to see a big technology release before the US -- remembering the agonising wait for the iPhone still gives us heartburn -- but the 3G phone market is more open here.

The race is on to develop the first Windows Phone 7 phone. We've already seen a prototype of the LG Panther running Microsoft Office, and the Samsung Cetus SGH-i917 is also in development.

WinPhoSev will boast its own app store, called Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Each 7-branded phone will feature a tile-style user interface that lets you drag small interactive icons around your home screen.

To see what Windows Phone 7 has in store, check out our immaculately manicured hands-on video review.

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by Brian Bennett