Today is Windows Phone 7 day in the US — the day when consumers will finally be able to throw down some coin and snag a WP7 device of their very own.
You can now purchase the HTC Surround, Samsung Focus (both on AT&T’s network), and HTC HD7 (on T-Mobile) from Microsoft’s online store for $199.99 with a two-year contract. All of the devices (along with the unique looking Dell Venue Pro, if rumors hold true) will also be on Microsoft’s retail store shelves as of this morning.
If you’re looking to save some money, you can also grab a WP7 device from Dell’s online store for $149.99, or from Amazon for $99.99.
At last, after months of teasing, we’ll finally be able to see if consumers have bought into Microsoft’s mobile rebirth. Judging from the buzz I’ve been hearing, users are impressed with Windows Phone 7′s slick interface — but I’m not entirely sure if they’re wowed enough to choose Microsoft’s platform over the quickly maturing Android, or Apple’s more polished iPhone experience.
At this point, Microsoft doesn’t have many hardcore mobile defenders, so it has to work even harder to convince users that it’s not going to screw up this mobile OS like it screwed up with Windows Mobile. The addition of Xbox Live integration may be compelling enough for some users, as VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi noted in his WP7 review, and the platform offers features like free phone locating and automatic cloud storage for photos. Microsoft has also been hard at work courting and supporting developers to deliver quality apps for WP7, which has led to an impressive amount of polished apps ready for the platform’s launch.
Clearly Microsoft has done its homework for Windows Phone 7 — but will it make a difference? Tell us what you think by taking our poll:
Are you jumping on the Windows Phone 7 bandwagon?online surveys
Like this story? Want to learn more? On April 14-15, our fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit will tackle the eight biggest growth opportunities in mobile today. The invitation-only Summit will gather the top 180 executives at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., to discuss issues like this. Request an invitation.