Microsoft giving away Windows Phone 7 phones

Microsoft gave a peek at the first Windows Phone 7 products earlier this month when it formally announced its follow-on Windows Mobile in the race for smartphone glory vs. Apple (See: Windows Phone 7 vs. Apple iOS), Google and RIM.  Microsoft’s current Windows Mobile OS recently fell behind Google Android in market share among U.S. smartphone subscribers, according to ComScore.

See the first Windows Phone 7 phones (slideshow)

As Network World’s John Cox pointed out, the official Windows Phone 7 introduction wasn’t as inspiring as it could be, not that anyone was particularly expecting a Steve Jobs-like extravaganza.  And Network World blogger Robert Mullins learned from AT&T that it does not expect huge lines of customers at its stores Nov. 8, when Windows Phone 7 devices go on sale in the United States.

Even early Windows Phone 7 customers should have a decent selection of apps from which to choose.  Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace has already hit the 1,000-app threshold. Among the apps to roll out: a calendaring app proposed by a single mom of four kids who won a Microsoft contest.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 partners include Dell, HTC, Samsung, AT&T and T-Mobile, among others. The revamped mobile OS is expected to get a look from IT shops figuring the technology will work well with existing Microsoft software such as Exchange.

A lucky few can win a Windows Phone 7 device via Microsoft’s giveaway contest. The company each week between now and Dec. 1 will give away a Windows Phone 7 prize package consisting of a Windows Phone 7 phone and a 12-month Zune Pass online music subscription. Five 1-month Zune Passes will also be awarded. Depending on the phone you get, you could be looking at a $200 value at the very least.

Bob Brown, who isn’t complaining about the company-provided BlackBerry Curve he uses, can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

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