Microsoft is ready to get back into the smartphone game. Following a week where several possible dates were rumored, the software giant has announced it will hold a launch event Oct. 11 in New York to formally unveil its newest mobile platform, the Windows Phone 7 Series. A similar event is scheduled the same day in London.
The event, scheduled for the company’s Technology Center in New York City, will be presented by CEO Steve Ballmer and other executives, including from carrier partners T-Mobile and AT&T. After a press conference in the morning, Phone 7 devices will showcased. HTC, Samsung, LG and others have announced they will release devices for the new platform.
GSM, Then CDMA
The date that such devices will actually be on the market isn’t yet known, although some reports point to November. Devices for GSM networks such as AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s are expected first, followed by CDMA carriers such as Verizon Wireless. CDMA devices are expected to be released in the first half of 2011.
Developer tools for Phone 7 were released in September. According to some reports, Microsoft will spend at least $400 million on marketing.
The launch comes not a moment too soon for Microsoft. According to market research firm comScore, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform is now fourth in market share in the U.S. at 11.8 percent, down from 14 percent in April. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is first with 39.3 percent, Apple’s iPhone has 23.8 percent, and Google’s rapidly rising open-source Android has 17 percent, a five percent increase since April. Worldwide, Microsoft’s is in fifth place with a market share of five percent, down from nine percent last year, with Symbian, RIM, Android and Apple in the top four places.
In addition to its slipping market share, Microsoft suffered an embarrassing recent failure in creating a line…