Microsoft Introduces Windows Phone 7 Smartphones

Microsoft today lifted the curtain on its line of smartphones running its new operating system, dubbed “Windows Phone 7,” in an effort to turn around the struggling company’s fortunes in the fiercely-competitive mobile market.

At an event in New York, the Redmond, Wash.-based company took the wraps off seven new devices — two from T-Mobile, the HTC HD7 and Dell Venue Pro, and three from AT&T, the HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus — and the Mozart, Trophy and Pro, from HTC, for international markets. All are expected to hit stores in the next few weeks for the holiday shopping season.

The new platform touts some ambitious features, such as “Hubs,” which bring together related applications, contacts, music, games and work, for a single view of common tasks.

“The phones are always delightful, and wonderfully mine,” Balmer said. “This is a different kind of phone.”

The operating system comes with entertainment services such as Netflix, allowing customers to stream thousands of movies and television shows to watch, Xbox Live to play games with more than 25 million members with avatars and achievements, and Zune to load music and podcasts.

“I think our products will stand out compared to any others,” Ballmer said. “We would not be launching the product if we did not feel good about its chances to do well.”

After the disastrous launch of the Kin phones, Microsoft is hoping Windows Phone 7 will catapult it back in the smartphone game. The company has just 4.7 percent this quarter, compared to 8.7 percent a year ago, according to research firm Gartner. Meanwhile, rivals Apple and Google have surged in popularity.

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