Redmond, Washington -- Microsoft is heading for a mobile race. Barely a week from today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer along with AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets CEO Ralph de la Vega will be appearing at a New York City press conference on October 11, to unveil the widely anticipated "Windows Phone 7" smartphones, where the companies are expected to announce the release dates for the new mobile operating system.
The company has posted an invitation online for a "Windows Phone 7 Worldwide Launch Event" in New York City next Monday, where Microsoft will disclose which carriers and manufacturers will be making and selling handsets based on Microsoft's next mobile operating system. The company will also preview the first line of Windows Phone 7 hardware.
The New York conference, which will last for an hour and a half, will include keynotes from Microsoft executives, a demo of Windows Phone 7 products and solution, and availability with T-Mobile representatives for product demos.
Enjoy light refreshments, beer and wine while you lay your hands on for an exclusive preview of T-Mobile powered Windows Phone 7 devices and an early display of some of our applications that will be available for launch, according to the invite. Later that afternoon, Microsoft will host an "Open House" event, where it will display many of its upcoming products such as Xbox Kinect and Windows Phone 7.
In another blog post, Microsoft said that it "would not yet have phones available for all to buy" at the Oct. 11 event, but "that time is nearing!"
Microsoft has been rather stagnant in the smartphone biz these past few years. The company's handsets have been overshadowed by Apple's iPhone, Google's Android devices, and Research In Motion's BlackBerry.
Recent efforts by the company to turn Windows Phone 7 is largely seen as Microsoft's last opportunity in mobile arena as the Apple iPhone platform and Google Android operating system dominates the U.S. audience. Just Sunday, Goldman Sachs said Windows Phone 7 must be "immediately successful" to get Microsoft back in the mobile game.
But now comes the Windows Phone 7 devices that the company has been boasting up for months. In an interview Monday, Ballmer told the Wall Street Journal, "we have got to move forward, not shoot for yesterday. We have got to shoot ahead in a way that is delightful to users, accessible to developers and prioritize everything else we do around those elements."
Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft's completely refurbished mobile operating system previously dubbed Windows Mobile. As such, Windows Phone 7 will initially compete head-to-head against the wildly popular iPhone.
Meanwhile, tech blog site Engadget stumbled upon a time-table for the Oct. 11 event that includes demonstration of Windows Phone 7 devices from T-Mobile, the other U.S. GSM-protocol carrier, along with AT&T. Reports have marked a Europe release on Oct. 21 and a U.S. shipping date on Nov. 8.