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HTC Windows Phone 7 smartphone coming in Q4

New OS will lead to development of more apps

HTC has revealed it will launch its first smartphone featuring the latest version of Microsoft's mobile phone OS, Windows Phone 7, in Q4.

"We will have a full-featured smartphone for Windows Phone 7 out in the fourth quarter of this year, but I can't tell you any more than that," said Peter Chou, president of HTC.

HTC, which often gains an early look at new software to test in new smartphone designs, has predicted that the launch of the new Windows Phone 7 OS, which was unveiled earlier today, will lead to greater app development efforts.

Microsoft already offers hundreds of apps on its website.

Since it opened in 1997, HTC has worked with Microsoft software in small devices, from Windows CE to Pocket PC 2000 and then Windows Mobile.

The company has been an important ally for Microsoft in popularising Windows Mobile with sleek smartphone designs.

Microsoft changed the name of its Pocket PC OS to take on the Windows Mobile moniker in 2003, a change that has lasted until now. Windows Phone 7 is an attempt by the software giant to regain traction in mobile phone OS'.

The company has been losing market share in the mobile segment against surging rivals such as Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry OS, Apple's iPhone OS and Google's Android OS.

The Windows Mobile OS ended 2009 in fourth place of the global smartphone market, by number of units, with an 8.8 percent share, down from 13.9 percent in 2008, according to market researcher Canalys.

Google's Android OS was behind Microsoft in fifth place in global share at 4.7 percent, up from 0.5 percent in 2008, while third-place Apple leaped to 15.1 percent from 9.6 percent and second-place RIM rose to 20.8 percent from 16.5 percent.

Symbian, the leading smartphone OS, also lost share, dropping to 47.2 percent in 2009 from 52.4 percent a year earlier.

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