Nokia Windows Phones coming first to UK and Europe, Dutch exec promises

Nokia's feverishly awaited new Windows Phone handsets will hit the UK and a select few other European countries before anywhere else in the world, according to a Dutch exec.

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The UK will be among the very first countries to enjoy Nokia's new Windows Phones, according to a Dutch executive of the Finnish firm. Nokia phones with the new OS are expected towards the end of the year.

Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands will be at the top of Nokia's list for the launch of the much anticipated new handsets, Victor Saeijs, a Nokia Europe vice president, told Dutch site All About Phones.

Nokia is gambling everything on Microsoft's mobile software, stopping development on its own Symbian and MeeGo operating systems. Fans of Nokia's hard-wearing hardware have high hopes for the switch, and Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoftie, has been on the conference circuit for weeks, bigging up Windows Phone to anyone who'll listen.

Elop says Windows Phone offers more scope for Nokia to differentiate itself from other mobile manufacturers who, Apple aside, are churning out one big black Android phone after another. Windows Phone has a charming tile-based interface that has been so well received it's the basis for the upcoming Windows 8 PC operating system.

Saejis wanted to stress how important the Netherlands is to Nokia, placing it in the top rank of mobile markets. He didn't, however, mention a release date or what kind of delay might befall pathetic no-name two-bit countries such as the US, China and Japan.

Saejis also revealed that the Anna update for Symbian would arrive on the N8, C7 and E7 in July. Anna, announced in April, adds new icons, a revamped browser and app store, a portrait Qwerty keyboard and more. The E6, which is out in the UK at the end of June, will ship with the new software on board.