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Microsoft has named several hardware launch partners for Windows Phone 7 (WP7), but few of them have gone ahead and made the relationship official. On Thursday, Samsung said it is continuing its long-standing relationship with Microsoft, and will release new WP7 smartphones this year in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
"For years, Samsung has been a key partner in bringing new Windows phones to customers all over the world," said Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President, OEM Division at Microsoft in a prepared statement. "Windows Phone 7 is an important release and we look forward to deepening our collaboration with Samsung on mobile devices and beyond, with our multi-screen strategy."
Samsung has also bet heavily on Android devices this year. It launched a line of high-end Android devices for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, and plans to launch an Android-based tablet with all four carriers this year, too.
It's a key win for Microsoft to have Samsung on board with Windows Phone 7. Samsung is one of the largest providers of mobile phones world wide.
Simon Stanford, Head of Mobile, Samsung UK and Ireland said in a prepared statement, "The addition of Windows Phone 7 devices to Samsung's smartphone portfolio is a significant milestone. Samsung's new Windows Phone 7 based smartphones will play a key role in reinforcing Samsung's leadership in the smartphone market and commitment to providing a range of devices across a variety of platforms."
Samsung has made serious headway in the smartphone market with its Android efforts. The line of Galaxy smartphones has already sold 2 million units in the U.S. Still, large questions remain about Windows Phone 7's potential. Microsoft is putting a lot of energy into the launch, and has lined up a wide variety of launch partners.
LG and HTC are also on board with Windows Phone 7, which is widely expected to be formally introduced on or near October 11.