Microsoft to Unveil Windows Phone 7 Next Week

Microsoft said it will officially unveil Windows Phone 7, its new mobile operating system, on October 11.

The event invitation said the new software will launch next Monday at 3 p.m. at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York City.

The company’s CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to headline the event, where he will be joined by officials from carrier partner T-Mobile, the posting indicates. The notice says the event is already full to capacity.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant, which invested much into Windows Phone 7, is hoping to gain traction in the increasingly important smartphone market, where its market share trails rivals such as Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS, Apple’s iPhone and the rapidly growing Android platform from Google.

To compete, Microsoft is angling to position Windows Phone 7 as part of the gamer market, bundling it with Xbox Live. The company also hopes its tight integration with the Windows environment will help third-party application developers, already familiar with its programming tools, to make all-important apps for the platform.

The launch of Windows Phone 7 comes after Microsoft’s botched line of Kin phones, which the company pulled from retailers this year amid dismal sales after only several weeks on the market. The debacle led the board of Microsoft to cut Ballmer’s bonus for the past fiscal year in half.

With much riding on the Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s officially confirmed launch next week is much anticipated. A wide range of partners, such as Samsung and AT&T, are expected to release products about a month later.

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