AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. phone company, will offer Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 7 handset operating system when it makes its U.S. debut later this year, according to two people with knowledge of the arrangement.
AT&T will offer the operating system on three devices when it is introduced, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the plans aren’t yet public. A Verizon Wireless spokeswoman, Brenda Raney, said the carrier won’t offer the software until at least next year.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, overhauled its mobile-phone operating system to stem market-share losses to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and handsets with Google Inc.’s Android software.
“Together with our hardware and mobile-phone operator partners, we look forward to bringing Windows Phone 7 to market this holiday,” Greg Sullivan, a Microsoft senior product manager, said in a statement yesterday. He didn’t give additional details.
Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, declined to comment yesterday in an interview.
Cara Walker, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Telekom AG’s T- Mobile USA unit, and Cristi Allen, a Sprint Nextel Corp. spokeswoman, both declined in e-mails to say when they expected to have devices with Windows Phone 7.
AT&T offers Apple’s iPhone and iPad tablet computer exclusively on its U.S. network and sells smartphones using Android software such as the Samsung Electronics Co. Captivate.
Microsoft and Verizon Wireless’s most recent mobile collaboration on Microsoft’s Kin ended when the software maker pulled the phone after two months because of disappointing sales.
AT&T, based in Dallas, added 12 cents to $28.23 at 9:37 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading and Microsoft rose 16 cents to $25.49 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Verizon, based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, is co-owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc.
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