Taiwanese handset vendor HTC has previewed two Windows Phone 7 smartphones to consumers across Europe, ahead of the products’ commercial release in October. The Titan and Radar handsets are the first from HTC to run the latest version of WP7, dubbed Mango.
While Microsoft revamped its mobile OS programme, HTC—once a firm that was described by executives as having “Windows in our DNA”—adopted Google’s Android operating system, establishing itself as one of the leading Android players. With the Titan and Radar the firm is demonstrating an ongoing willingness to work with Microsoft, although the allegiance is not what it was.
Nonetheless, the firm praised Microsoft’s new platform, with global sales and marketing chief Jason Mackenzie saying it allowed HTC to “raise the bar with advanced photography, multimedia and social capabilities”.
Microsoft’s close partnership with Nokia, announced early this year, was felt by some observers to run the risk of alienating other vendor partners. But Nokia has yet to release a product based on WP7, and has lacked conviction when voicing its desire to deliver a handset before the end of 2011. So it may be that WP7 remains more open territory for other vendors than it appeared early this year.
For vendors that have aligned themselves closely with Android, the recent announcement from Google that it is to acquire the handset division of Motorola might well have forced a rethink for the same reasons that the Microsoft/Nokia partnership gave them cause for concern. HTC, which has established leadership in both camps as it has sought to build its consumer brand, could prove a useful bellwether.