Today, in New York City, Microsoft is undergoing what its internal documentation describes as a "PR stunt to support the push to retail" for Windows Phone 7.5 handsets. I'm in New York for the day, so I'll update this post over time with observations, photos, and other information.
Newer items at the top.
3:00pm: Photos from the events
Sorry for the delay: We went out to Herald Square on "peditaxis" and then a group of us went to lunch. But here are some photos from today's events.
Greg Sullivan, hand model
Tom Warren on a peditaxi
Mary Jo Foley
Riding to Herald Square
Big A@# Windows Phone
Empire State Building
11:12 am: News from the show
So this event is the US retail launch of Windows Phone on AT&T and T-Mobile, and I'm told Verizon is in, but has nothing to announce yet. ("Soon." They seem to be on their own schedule as always.) Spotify is live today, we're told, and Foursquare, Accuweather, and eBay are all here. No word on Skype, which is a bit surprising. We got Samsung Focus S and Flash devices on review loaner. But I'm still looking ahead to the HTC Titan as mentioned previously. I'll take some unboxing shots on the way home on the train.
11:08 am: Spotify is official!
11:03 am: Andy Lees on stage
Back in a bit...
11:00 am: Spotify
Nothing official, yet, but the Spotify app is on all the demo phones here, and is represented in the poster-sized Windows Phone displays too. So I think that's happening.
10:54 am: At the event
It may be a while before I can provide a proper update, as I'm at the event. I've gotten to touch and use all the phones, and have met with some blogger friends--Tom Warren, Mary Jo and so on--as well as some Microsofties like Greg Sullivan, Brandon Watson, and Joe Belfiore. I'll try to post some shots in a bit. But right now, it seems like the HTC Titan is the only currently-available Windows Phone 7.5 handset that will provide iPhone 4S-like camera quality. It's "coming soon" on AT&T.
9:00 am: Relaxed hardware requirements
A lot of people have written about Microsoft's newly relaxed hardware requirements for Windows Phone 7.5, which involves two basic pieces: Support for new, cheaper hardware and the removal of camera, compass, gyro from the list of requirements. Both of these changes were obviously made to support less expensive devices, and to move Windows Phone away from being a purely high-end smart phone platform. (That said, I don't expect to see any new phones without cameras in leading markets, of course.)
8:40am: More on the new phones
The AT&T Wireless has some information about its new Windows Phones, the Samsung Focus Flash and Samsung Focus S, the first of which can be had for just $50 with a new activation. (The Flash is $200.)
8:25 am: Rumor alert
First up, a couple of rumors. My sources tell me that Spotify for Windows Phone will likely debut today. Possibly Lync as well.
8:25 am: New phones
Also, the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash are now available at AT&T. They launched yesterday for some reason.
8:25 am: Photos from Herald Square
Daniel B. was kind enough to forward the following two photos from Herald Square in NYC, where a giant Windows Phone has been set up.