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Takeaways from the Windows Phone Launch

Microsoft launched "Windows phone" branding in October, marking the global rollout of Windows Mobile 6.5-based phones by Microsoft's hardware partners.

A few key points:

1. Some of the phones are already on the market, such as the HTC Pure offered by AT&T and HTC Imagio from Verizon Wireless.

2. Microsoft expects its hardware partners to deliver more than 30 new phones in more than 20 countries by the end of 2009.

3. The Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system in Windows phones enables the use of a physical QWERTY keyboard or a touch user interface, or both.

4. Windows Mobile is based on the Windows Compact Edition OS. There's no upgrade path from versions 5.0 and 6.0, although some service providers will offer upgrades from version 6.1.

5. A new Microsoft "My Phone" free service lets people back up information on their phones and allows people who have lost their phones to check a map for the location where their phone was last synchronized.

6. A new Windows Marketplace for Mobile offers a portal for people to buy applications for Windows phones. The Marketplace currently has 246 mobile applications in the catalog.

7. Microsoft also "redesigned" a mobile version of its Internet Explorer browser for the Windows phone launch. It integrates with Adobe Flash Lite and can log onto secure Web sites.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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