Microsoft has unveiled its answer to the Apple iPhone, launching a new version of its mobile operating system and an iTunes-style marketplace for smartphone applications.
The phones, which combine the ability to make calls, surf the internet and view videos, carry Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system.
Around 30 types of ‘Windows phones’ with various designs will be available by the end of the year in more than 20 countries.
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer unveiled the new phones on Tuesday at Microsoft’s new French headquarters near Paris.
Seven phone-makers, including Sony, Samsung and Toshiba, and 16 operators including Orange, Vodafone and T-Mobile, are involved in the launch.