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Windows Phone 7 To Hit the Verizon Network This Week

Windows Phone 7 this week will come to Verizon, the largest mobile operator in the United States with 104 million "wireless connections," which include 88 million retail customers. (AT&T would be larger if the T-Mobile acquisition goes through.)

Verizon will start selling the HTC Trophy as its first Windows Phone 7 device online on May 26. The device will hit Verizon stores on June 2, according to a post on Microsoft's Windows Phone Blog by Michael Stroh.

The price of the HTC Trophy with a new two-year contract will be $149.99 after a $50 rebate. To highlight Windows Phone 7's unique ability to play mobile games with Xbox Live and sync with Xbox avatars, profiles and scores, Verizon will give away a free Xbox 360 console game to anyone who buys the device before July 15. Available games include Halo: Reach, Kinect Sports and Lode Runner, with a retail value of up to $60. Given the Xbox aspect, and the fact that it doesn't matter to Verizon whether customers buy a Windows Phone 7 device versus an Apple iPhone or Google Android device, I'm guessing Microsoft is chipping in the Xbox game promotion to try to drive some device sales.

Doug Burgum

According to Verizon's news release, the key features of the HTC Trophy are a WVGA 3.8-inch touchscreen, surround sound through SRS WOW HD, a 5-megapixel camera, 720p HD video capture, 16 GB of on-board storage, Wi-Fi connectivity and that the phone is global-ready.

Verizon also notes that users can "view and edit Microsoft Office documents, including Excel, Word and PowerPoint with the Office Hub and data access on SharePoint servers."

The Trophy has been available in other countries for several months. It joins a stable of about half-a-dozen Windows Phone 7 devices available in the United States on the AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile networks. (See the May in-depth article comparing all the devices.)

The move should lead to an improvement in Microsoft's overall market share. Verizon commands about a third of the U.S. mobile market (although Apple did well enough even when the iPhone was exclusive to AT&T). Getting Windows Phone 7 onto the Verizon network is one more critical piece in Microsoft's long game in the smartphone market.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 23, 2011 at 11:58 AM