AT&T Snags Exclusive Contract with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7

AT&T seems to be everywhere these days, gobbling up exclusivity contracts with nearly every smartphone manufacturer that it can, ostensibly because it is losing its iPhone contract in the near future. It managed to grab exclusivity with the new BlackBerry Torch 9800 and appears to have the lead concerning Windows Phone 7 (WP7). According the the venerable Wall Street Journal, AT&T will be offering the first WP7 smartphones available. Microsoft is expected to announce the first WP7 smartphones on October 11th and AT&T will start selling them a month later (November 8th).

What are the first Windows Phone 7 devices to launch? Infosync thinks that they will be the HTC ‘Mondrian’, the ‘Cetus’ from Samsung, and the LG ‘Optimus 7′. Of course, AT&T is also getting the BlackBerry Curve and Pearl 3G models, so if there is a smartphone you really want, it looks like AT&T might be your best bet as far as carriers are concerned. Of course, AT&T’s network falls short for quite a few people compared to Verizon Wirelesses but hey, Verizon uses that CDMA technology nonsense for its network. I wish the US would just completely switch to SIM cards like most of the world so we could just pick and choose our smartphone and carrier separately.

I know WP7 seems to be almost an afterthought right now compared to iOS, Android and BlackBerry, but more options are always a good thing. While I have never been a huge fan of the platform (probably due to the inferior hardware of the devices I’ve used with the OS), it is still pretty solid. The new version looks very impressive so I am happy that carriers and manufacturers alike are supporting it. While Microsoft might look dead in the water concerning smartphones, just remember how it came out of nowhere to claim such a strong following in the console gaming department. Apple might have finally passed Microsoft this year in company worth, but Microsoft still has the muscle and cash on hand to literally throw money at developers to create apps for the platform. If it worked for the Xbox and Xbox 360, who is to say it won’t work for WP7? Money is money.

Excited about the coming smartphones powered by Microsoft’s mobile OS? I am. Hopefully they really bring back the spark Microsoft has been missing with its smartphones lately. Sure, Vista was a flop, but with the way Windows 7 turned out, I have hope for the company and its various operating systems.

Let me know if you’re anxious for the first WP7 smartphones to hit the market.

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