Microsoft has announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Phone 7, their last great hope to recover their position in the smartphone market:
Today is the day that the Windows Phone team has been driving towards, and we’re very excited to say that we’ve reached the biggest milestone for our internal team – the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Phone 7! While the final integration of Windows Phone 7 with our partners’ hardware, software, and networks is underway, the work of our internal engineering team is largely complete.
Windows Phone 7 is the most thoroughly tested mobile platform Microsoft has ever released. We had nearly ten thousand devices running automated tests daily, over a half million hours of active self-hosting use, over three and a half million hours of stress test passes, and eight and a half million hours of fully automated test passes. We’ve had thousands of independent software vendors and early adopters testing our software and giving us great feedback. We are ready.
Now the question is when partnering cell phone hardware vendors and service providers will be ready to launch some Windows Phone 7 phones. The consensus is before the end of the year and perhaps as soon as October. Early reviews range from the dismal to mildly favorable although the missing features enumerated in the latter are a trifle disconcerting.