AT&T to be 'premier' Windows Phone 7 vendor

Carrier remains bullish on Microsoft's mobile OS

Say all you want about whether Windows Phone 7 (WP7) will succeed, but AT&T continues to back the platform wholeheartedly after endorsing it -- and Microsoft 's mobile efforts -- repeatedly over the last year.

"We'll be the premier carrier for Windows Phone 7," a spokeswoman said via e-mail on Monday. "We haven't given guidance on timing."

The spokeswoman wouldn't elaborate about what a premier carrier would do to promote WP7 and phones running it. Analysts have noted the value to Microsoft of getting as many carriers on board as possible, especially given the failure of Microsoft Kin phones sold by Verizon Wireless and Microsoft's move away from the Windows Mobile 6.x platform.

Well-known Altimeter Group analyst Michael Gartenberg tweeted last week that AT&T had signed up to buy 8 million WP7 devices, citing an e-mail from a "trusted source." His comment could not be confirmed. By comparison, about 55 million smartphones shipped globally in the first quarter of 2010.

Both Verizon and Sprint Nextel refused to comment about their plans for WP7, and the fourth-largest carrier, T-Mobile USA, did not respond to a question on its plans.

A Microsoft spokeswoman last week said neither Microsoft nor the mobile operators have any announcements on whether they will have WP7 phones when they become generally available this fall. She did note, however, that Microsoft indicated at its WP7 announcement at Mobile World Congress in February that its US partners were AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon.

Analysts said that carriers, just like device manufacturers, could easily indicate interest in supporting the platform as "partners" and then later pull back -- or take a bigger role.

It's likely that all of the major carriers are scrutinizing the reaction by developers to reference hardware phones running WP7 that were recently distributed by Microsoft. Some developers have bemoaned features missing in WP7 such as full multi-tasking, copy and paste and a native Twitter client; others believe Microsoft is likely to add such features in coming generations.

AT&T has stood out in its praise for Microsoft and WP7 in recent months. At the CTIA show in March, Jeff Bradley, senior vice president of mobile devices for AT&T, said in an interview that the carrier was looking forward to selling WP7 phones for use on its network when they become available.

Referring to Microsoft, Bradley said at the time that it had "raised the bar substantially" with Windows Phone 7 making it "very, very comparable to any smartphone on the market."

Bradley could not be reached for comment.

For years, AT&T has sold phones based on Windows Mobile software and bragged last year that it sold more Windows Mobile devices than any other carrier globally.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationapplicationsWindowsPhonesMobile operating systemsmobileoperating systemsT-Mobile USAVerizon Wirelessconsumer electronicsMicrosoftat&tsmartphonesMobile OSessprint nextelsoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?