Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer announced in a keynote tonight at CES that the HTC HD2 phone, which has previously been available only in Europe, will become available, subsidized, through T-Mobile this spring. The news has been rumored for quite a while, and now that it’s been confirmed, the HD2 is arguably the most interesting Windows Mobile 6.5 in the U.S.
It has a big 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen supporting pinch and zoom gesture commands, and runs on a fast 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. But the user experience offered by the phone isn’t entirely Microsoft-flavored. The HD2 was the first phone featuring HTC’s Sense user interface, which controls such things as the calendar, address book and photo gallery.
The HD2 also sports a 5-megapixel camera with dual flash, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g).
The HTC/T-Mobile deal marks Microsoft’s ongoing bid to regain a foothold in the smartphone game. Microsoft had this to say on the subject in a statement today:
“Over the past year we have made significant progress with our Mobile Communication Business. We brought in a new leadership team, established a new Windows phones brand, launched Windows Marketplace for Mobile and My phone, and worked hard with partners to ship dozens of new Windows phones starting in October 2009.”.
The phone will become available through T-Mobile this spring, but pricing isn’t yet available.