Windows Phone 7 “to launch 21 October”

Microsoft will reportedly launch its first wave of Windows Phone 7 devices on 21 October.

Windows Phone 7

Sources close to the company told the reliable Windows-watcher Neowin that Microsoft will hold launch events in several countries on the 21st, including the UK. Microsoft was unable to comment on the suggested date at the time of publication.

Microsoft has been gradually edging closer to the Windows Phone 7 launch in recent weeks. At the beginning of this month, it sent the finished code to manufacturing. And last week, Microsoft announced all five UK mobile networks would be supporting Windows Phone 7 at launch.

Manufacturers such as HTC, LG, Asus and Dell are expected to have handsets ready for launch, as Microsoft prepares an assault on the smartphone market ahead of the crucial Christmas season.

Microsoft certainly can’t be accused of lacking confidence in the appeal of Windows Phone 7, holding a funeral for the iPhone and BlackBerry to mark the release to manufacturing of the final code.

However, Windows Phone 7 will lack at least one feature that’s available from the iPhone: tethering. Microsoft told that it won’t allow laptops and other devices to use a Windows Phone’s 3G connection, despite hinting previously that tethering would be optional for supporting networks.

Microsoft hasn’t ruled out the possibility of including tethering in later updates to the operating system.

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