Microsoft’s mobile division hits a big roadblock

Windows Mobile 7 might be the most radical (and promising)
operating system from the company’s mobile division in years, but the road to
retail isn’t going to be perfectly smooth.

Verizon, which was famously burned
by Microsoft with the Kin
earlier this year, has announced it will not
carry phones using the service at launch – or at all this year. It will be some
unnamed date in 2011 before the company begins supporting the OS.

Brenda Raney, a spokesperson for Verizon, made the
announcement in an interview
with Bloomberg Thursday.

The announcement that the nation’s largest cellular provider
was bypassing the launch came as a surprise to onlookers – but is a positive
for AT&T, which has already been identified as a premiere partner for the

Windows Mobile 7 is the
company’s best bet
for regaining some of the marketshare it has lost in the
mobile space to Android and Apple’s iOS. Analysts don’t expect it to be a
market leader, but have praised its unique design as well as its coordination with other
Microsoft units, including the Zune media player and Xbox Live.