Microsoft (s msft) is gearing up for the fall appearance of Windows Phone 7 handsets, but Verizon (s vz) won’t be sticking its name on any of them. Big Red will not be launching a Windows Phone 7 handset this year, but told Bloomberg today it will “probably release a phone in 2011.” That doesn’t sound like a solid endorsement that Windows Phone 7 is factoring heavily into Verizon’s near-term plans. Perhaps the carrier is still reeling from the massive failure of Microsoft’s Kin phone line that was killed after only a couple of months.
The popularity of Verizon’s Android-based (s goog) Droid line of phones should give it the breathing room needed to wait and see how Windows Phone 7 performs in the market before jumping into the water. Next year is also when Verizon is supposed to get the iPhone (s aapl), if you believe the rumors appearing every week. Android is fast becoming the 800-pound gorilla in the smartphone world, and the gang in Redmond has a lot of ground to cover to compete in today’s highly competitive market, and while it can do so without Verizon, having the carrier on board would certainly make success easier. Windows Phone 7, Android and much more will be on the table for discussion at our Mobilize conference this month.
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