The Journal quotes Microsoft senior product manager Greg Sullivan, who says Redmond selected GSM because it’s “placing high-quality customer service above all else.” Both Verizon Wireless and Sprint use a competing cellular technology called CDMA, which is less popular than GSM internationally.
The first Windows Phone 7 handsets will ship in time for the holiday shopping season, but Microsoft won’t provide a CDMA version of its mobile OS until the first half of 2011. According to Bloomberg, Verizon Wireless says it won’t offer a Win Phone 7 device until sometime next year.
Microsoft faces a daunting challenge in the U.S. smartphone market. While it was busy cooking up Windows Phone 7, sales surged for Apple’s iPhone and a growing number of Google Android-based handsets.
Market forecasters are split on whether Redmond can regain its spot as a player in the mobile OS market. Gartner predicts Windows Phone will be an also-ran by 2014 with an anemic 4-percent share, while IDC gives Microsoft’s OS a healthier 9.8-percent share in four years.