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Windows Phone 7 to hit Broadway Oct. 11

Microsoft plans to use an "open house" event in New York next month to serve as a launching point for Windows Phone 7. Phones running the new operating system are expected later in October.

Microsoft plans to hold a consumer press event in New York next month that will serve as, among other things, a formal kick-off for Windows Phone 7, CNET has confirmed.

The October 11 event isn't a pure Windows Phone launch, but rather a consumer-focused "open house" similar to a holiday event Microsoft held last year in New York, according to a source familiar with the company's plans. Further details on the October event were not immediately available.

Windows 7 phones from a number of makers are expected to take center stage at Microsoft's October 11 consumer open house in New York. LG has received Federal Communications Commission approval to start selling this Windows Phone device. CNET

While Windows Phone 7 will be a major focus, the open house won't necessarily mark the availability of phones running the new operating system. Devices running Windows 7 are being prepped by a number of handset makers, including LG, Samsung, and HTC, and are expected to hit the market starting next month. Some devices have already gotten approval for sale from the Federal Communications Commission.

After years of development--and several reboots along the way--Microsoft finalized the code for Windows Phone 7 at the beginning of this month. The new operating system is a radical departure from past versions of the device, which were focused on business users. The new-look Windows Phone aims to compete for the hearts and wallets of consumers by centering on design and ease of use, as well as connections to Xbox Live and the Zune music service.

While it has won plaudits for its improved design, the Microsoft operating system will find itself lacking several key technical features, including full multitasking and the ability to copy and paste. The company is expected, however, to launch a major ad blitz for the new phones and has been working hard to make sure there will be plenty of third-party programs ready for the device's arrival.