The Dance of the Unwilling Partners: Microsoft, AT&T and the Windows Phone 7 ‘Premier’ Partner

Even after having repeatedly claimed that it is the “premier” carrier partner for Microsoft Corps latest Smartphone, Windows Phone 7, the software giant now says it is currently working with a number of other firms other than AT&T on the phone’s launch. AT&T has once and again claimed that it is the exclusive partner for the windows 7, being as it is that it enjoys an exclusivity deal with Apple Inc on iPhone, but Microsoft has just said that AT&T is one amongst the many companies it is considering working with.

AT&T’s Confidence

However, what I find rather funny is AT&T’s confidence over the matter because from the way it has been stressing its premier status, you would think it enjoys some form of assurance from Microsoft over the same. As it is, you would be forgiven for thinking AT&T has some kind of assured deal with windows 7 phone launch. When the software giant unveiled its smartphone back in February, you will remember AT&T’s enthusiasm with the launch in which it reiterated how it has for a long time had cordial partnership with Microsoft through selling Windows Mobile devices. Back then, AT&T had said it was very pleased with Microsoft’s launch of the new operating system. As such, I rather find the whole situation a tad confusing because Microsoft does not seem to think it has any special partnership with AT&T over its windows 7 phone launch. If anything, it appears as if AT&T is courting Microsoft for a dance the Software giant does not seem keen on.

The Dance Continues

AT&T previously spoke proudly about its being the pioneer operator to launch Windows Mobile in 2003 and its delight at being the premier partner for the launch of windows phone 7 series in the US, said AT&T’s David Christopher, its chief marketing officer for Mobility and Customer Markets. What I find particularly odd with the two unwilling dance partners is the fact that AT&T seems not keen on telling the benefits to be accrued from the alleged premier status it is keen on. Could this be pure posturing? Because from the first time AT&T claimed its premier status, Microsoft came out to deny having it such a designation as regards its windows phone 7. However, Microsoft had clearly said that AT&T and Orange would get the chance to showcase their offerings for the windows phone 7.

Microsoft Denies The Claims

Microsoft’s senior Vice President for Mobile Communications Business had said during an MWC that the company was working with the two providers to enable them offer their offerings via unique software and services on their networks. What makes the situation a bit harder currently is the fact that Microsoft refuses to offer any guidance over the situation but instead just giving a blank “we are working closely with AT&T and a number of other partners over the launch of windows phone 7.”

However, one things stands out from the dance of the unwilling partners, AT&T is concerned over the future of its exclusivity deal with Apple and might be keen on additional business.

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