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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 6, 2011 at 1:47 PM

CES 2011: Verizon and Sprint will carry Windows Phone 7 by June 30

LAS VEGAS — Verizon Wireless and Sprint will start selling Windows Phone 7s by the end of June.

In his keynote Wednesday night, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said the software would be ready for Verizon and Sprint. Today, I spoke with Aaron Woodman, director of the mobile communications business atr Microsoft, who said devices would be ready on both networks by June 30.

The company did not share new numbers of how the phone is selling. The company did say earlier that phone makers have shipped 1.5 million phones to wireless carriers.

Ballmer said developers now have 5,500 apps in the marketplace for Windows Phone, and that 100 new apps are added to the market each day. More than half of Windows Phone 7 users are downloading a new app daily, although the company did not say whether those were free or paid apps. Some developers who make apps for Android have said it’s difficult to make money in the Android market.

Microsoft also said customer satisfaction is high. Nine out of 10 AT&T customers say they would recommend the phone to someone else.

“We feel really good,” Woodman said. “Long term we want to drive volume business. Short term we want people to recommend us.”

Microsoft will also do a software update this year adding a copy and paste feature and performance improvements to help apps load faster.

Games have been very popular in the app market, Woodman said. He said in focus groups, people have been happy with the snappy user interface. They are struggling with finding things on their phone, such as how to find a contact, and Microsoft has added a search key to the screen.

He also said people are using the website windowsphone.live.com to manage their phone. Photos taken on the phone are automatically uploaded to the site. People can also go to the site to make their phone ring if they misplace it, even if the phone is in vibrate mode.

The site has fewer features than Kin Studio, the website for the Kin phone that Microsoft launched and then canceled last year. Woodman said it’s in the road map to build out more Kin Studio-like services for Windows Phone 7.

“We have a very, very small baby step with Windows Phone Live,” he said. “It’s definitely part of the road map to have enriched services that make the phone more meaningful, and the Web more meaningful,” such as Xbox Live and Windows Phone Live. That’s one way Windows Phone can continue to compete against Android, he said.

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