It's unlikely to be greeted with the same enthusiasm as the launch of Android or the iPhone, but October 11 will be a monumental day for Microsoft as it begins its last big chance to regain relevance in the mobile phone market.
The software giant will hold a special launch event in New York on that day, which Information Week reports is already filled to capacity. CEO Steve Ballmer will be on hand to discuss the future of Microsoft in the mobile space but it's unclear exactly when all the announced Windows Phone 7 phones will go on sale.
There is expected to be a small arsenal of phones running the new operating system by the end of the year, thanks to Microsoft managing to get support from manufacturers it has been partners with for years on end. LG, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, and HP are all expected to gives Windows Phone 7 a shot.
Microsoft used to have an admirable market share in the mobile phone operating system market. No one really sought out Windows Mobile phones but it was powering a good number of handsets. Now, its market share stands at 11.8% and it has been falling consistently for years.
Apple's iOS platform for iPhones and Google's Android software have captured the attention of most of the savvy phone buyers, while Microsoft has been relegated to the sidelines. That was especially true after its last mobile endeavor, a line of phones under a brand called Kin, failed more miserably than anyone could have imagined.
Windows Phone 7 is really the last chance Microsoft has to prove to the US and the rest of the world that it can compete with these newcomers. It didn't work so well when Blackberry introduced a new operating system; everyone called it a slight upgrade at best that brought nothing new to the table.