Verizon, Sprint Not Getting Win Phone 7 Until 2011

Verizon yesterday confirmed to Bloomberg that it wouldn't be offering Windows Phone 7 devices until 2011, despite the fact that Microsoft is expected to launch the OS in October. In an interview with Business Week, Verizon's Brenda Raney said the carrier does plan to support the new operating system and will probably release a phone in 2011.

The news was surprising, considering Verizon was the first to offer Microsoft's Kin One and Kin Two. At first we figured this revelation about not supporting WP7 until 2011 had something to do with Verizon's lack of confidence in Redmond. After all, the Kin had to be pulled two weeks after it launched. However, it turns out that's not the case after all. Speaking to CNet, product manager Greg Sullivan said that Windows Phone 7 devices would be GSM only until 2011.

"We had to make some trade-offs," Sullivan told CNET. "Even Microsoft doesn't have unlimited resources. We had to prioritize doing fewer things, really, really well."

Microsoft decided to focus on GSM handsets because it’s the dominant standard in the worldwide market.

"For the worldwide market, the vast majority of phones are GSM phones, so we focused on GSM first and then plan to deliver an update that will have great CDMA support in the first half of 2011," Sullivan said. "That's device availability in the first half and we're very confident of that. That's probably a conservative estimate."

Sullivan likened the decision to do GSM only for 2010 to the decision to omit copy/paste.

"It's exactly the same decision dynamic," he said. "Look, we could do more things, or we could do fewer things really, really well. We chose intentionally to do fewer things really, really well."

So no Windows Phone 7 devices for Sprint or Verizon until sometime next year. Are you willing to change to AT&T or T-Mobile just to get one? Let us know in the comments below!

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.