Back in October, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed that the company would be handing out free Windows Phones to each of its 89,000 employees. The generous and expensive gesture from Microsoft was seen as a great publicity move, of course, but now it’s time to pay the piper. Microsoft employees in some regions have begun receiving their free devices and, as expected, they’re being quite vocal with their excitement. Among the first to receive their free phones, each of Microsoft’s 1,200 employees in the Netherlands have been given a Samsung Omnia 7. Employees seem quite pleased with the device so far, which features a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture support and a 1GHz processor. 1,200 down, 87,800 to go.
Did you hear that? That’s the sound of Windows Mobile fans around the world breathing a simultaneous sigh of relief upon learning that Windows Mobile 6.5-powered handsets, or “Windows Phones”, will finally become available beginning October 6th. Official word just came down from Redmond and we couldn’t be happier to see 6.5 finally preparing to become a reality. As per the announcement, here is an official list of carriers and manufacturers around the globe that are already on board:
- In North America: Mobile operators AT&T, Bell Mobility, Sprint, TELUS and Verizon Wireless, and phone manufacturers HP, HTC Corp., LG Electronics, Samsung and Toshiba Corp.
- In Europe: Mobile operators Orange, Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc, and phone manufacturers Acer, HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba
- In Latin America: Mobile operator TIM Brazil, and phone manufacturers HTC, LG Electronics and Samsung
- In Asia Pacific: Mobile operators NTT DoCoMo Inc., SoftBank Mobile Corp., SK Telecom, Telstra and WILLCOM Inc., and phone manufacturers Acer Inc., HTC, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba
As for which devices we might see launch right out the gate, it’s still a bit of a mystery for the time being. Expect the HTC Mega to become a reality around that time of course, and odds are pretty good that the Samsung Omnia II and maybe even the Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 will reach market on or soon after the 6th. Anyone as excited as we are to see WinMo 6.1 replaced?