Microsoft to launch own-brand smartphone?

Microsoft has called a press conference for 12 April, with reports suggesting the company is ready to unveil a new range of mobile devices.

Microsoft to launch own-brand smartphone?

These devices, code-named Pure and Turtle, are expected to be slider phones featuring touchscreens and hardware keyboards. They will incorporate the Zune media service, and are tailored towards younger users, pulling together instant messaging and social-networking services.

It is unclear what operating system the handsets will run, with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS not expected until the end of the year.

The phones are thought to be the successors to the Sidekick – which Microsoft acquired as part of its 2008 Danger acquisition. The Sidekick hit the headlines last year when a power-outage at Danger’s data centre caused user contact details, calendar information and photos to be erased.

The data was subsequently salvaged, but many users were left doubting the wisdom of entrusting their data to the cloud.

Microsoft has refused to comment on “rumours or speculative news stories”.

The software giant’s event will take place just days after an Apple press conference, where the firm will unveil the next version of the iPhone OS.

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