NEW YORK--At Microsoft's second annual "open house" press conference in New York, CEO Steve Ballmer introduced three Windows Phone 7 smartphones that will be launching exclusively with AT&T in the U.S. for the holiday season. All three phones will cost $199.99.
The HTC Surround, LG Quantum, and Samsung Focus each have a capacitive touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The HTC Surround has a 3.8-inch touch screen, and 16 GB internal memory. It can claim the distinction of being the first smartphone that builds in Dolby Mobile surround sound speakers--they slide up. It has a kickstand for horizontal media viewing.
The LG Quantum is geared more toward business professionals, with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and Office Mobile on board. However, there's also room for play with support for Play To app that can wirelessly stream videos, music, and photos to any DLNA-enabled TV or other device.
The Samsung Focus boasts being the slimmest Windows Phone for AT&T at 9.9 mm thick. Like the phones in the Galaxy S series, it features a Super AMOLED screen.
You can buy the Samsung Focus from AT&T retails stores and from the Web site starting November 8. AT&T and Microsoft were less specific about the release times for the HTC Surround and the LG Quantum, but they did mention it will be "available in time for the holidays."
"We think it's important to have consistent delight, but to have a set of choices that are wonderfully their own," CEO Ballmer said during the keynote.
In addition to these three GSM phones, Microsoft is also launching a total of nine Windows Phone 7 handsets with over 60 mobile operators offering the phones in over 30 countries.
Stay tuned. There's much more to come...