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Microsoft ready to unleash Windows Phone 8 handsets

29 Oct 2012
Windows Phone 8 live tiles customisable

With the release of Windows Phone 8 just days away, Microsoft has touted the interoperability the handset will have with its other products.

Speaking at a special event in San Francisco, chief executive Steve Ballmer said that the company had designed the handset platform to seamlessly integrate with its Windows and Xbox platforms, delivering a consistent feel across console, desktop, tablet and smartphone environments.

"They will see how the new Windows 8 experience can get even better when paired with a Windows Phone," Ballmer predicted.

"People throughout the world are going to fall in love with Windows Phone."

The company said that the first handsets to run Windows Phone 8 are expected to rollout in Europe this weekend, with additional releases taking place around the globe in November and into the coming year.

Among the first Windows Phone 8 handsets to arrive will be models from Nokia, HTC and Samsung.

In the US, the first models are slated to arrive by mid-November, with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T all offering support for the platform.

Ballmer told reporters that Microsoft is looking to make its smartphone platform easy to port, with support for Office, SkyDrive and Xbox, and will offer improved customisation.

The platform will feature a "pin" system which will let users add tiles and feeds into their home and lock screens, while social networking and multimedia features will allow for Facebook photos to be streamed to tiles and lock screens.

"Four years ago when we started on what became the Windows Phone, we had a very different perspective from our competitors on what a smartphone should be," Ballmer said.

"We did not want to build a single phone for all of us, we wanted to build a phone that could be personal to each of us."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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