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No Windows Phone 7 for Sprint as well (for 2010)

Well, the other shoe just fell: there will be no phones featuring Windows Phone 7 on Sprint in 2010 as well.

Reason? It's Microsoft, not the carriers.  

According to an interview with CNet with senior product manager Greg Sullivan:

We had to make some trade-offs,...Even Microsoft doesn't have unlimited resources. We had to prioritize doing fewer things, really, really well.For the worldwide market, the vast majority of phones are GSM phones, so we focused on GSM first and then plan to deliver an update that will have great CDMA support in the first half of 2011,That's device availability in the first half and we're very confident of that. That's probably a conservative estimate.

Evidently, Microsoft made this decision earlier this year but are just now going public with it, perhaps to give Verizon a little respite from their public announcement today, which seemed to sell-short Microsoft's new mobile OS.

So that's that folks. Yours truly is also crestfallen, so guess I'll get an AT&T account in addition to Sprint. I suppose we can call the hounds off of Verizon, eh?

[Thanks, Stephen, for the tip!]

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

40 Comments
  • This sucks, big time...
  • Nah, keep the hounds still going and get an AT&T account too. More interesting that way. :-) Well, for me, I guess it isn't such a biggie since I won't be due for a new phone until summer anyway. It would have been nice to Sprint leap out of the gate with it though.
  • My only hope now lies with HTC making a superphone to run on T-Mobile's HSPA+ (did I write that correctly?) network. I wanted Sprint for the option of a cheaper data plan and potential 4G speeds but T-Mobile could work also. But in no way am I going to AT&T. Been there, done that. Don't want to repeat that.
  • This does explain why Europe is getting launched first, more GSM over there.
  • This is bogus, I spent the last month developing a WP7 app with the downloadable tools and this is how I get treated. I don't want to switch carriers.
    I don't want to maintain two accounts.
    They were touting Developers, Developers, Developers. However they neglected to say we aren't coming to CDMA carriers till 2011, so if you don't want to switch carriers don't waste your time developing Apps for WP7. I guess now I should start developing the App for Android and get myself a Samsung Galaxy S phone. I hate how I wasted nights and weekends last month for this...
  • I'm leaning tmobile now.... longtime sprint customer but I can't wait until sometime in 2011 for a new phone.... my pre is half dead now. I am "living" with it in the hope that sprint was going to get a good phone. I did some pricing and the tmobile plans are a bit cheaper than at&t so that is where I will be going assuming they get a phone that I want (maybe the hd7 but we will see when the announcements start).
  • I'm still ending my contract with Verizon early (for entire company) and going with AT&T. Verizon is on the wrong side of the net-neutrality argument. The fact that there isn't a WP7 device just makes it easier. -kw
  • This really sucks. I was hoping for a tough decision on Sprint between a WP7 and a new HPalm device. Unless something leaks for a new HPalm in early October, I'm going Epic 4G...even though that's my least favorite choice. Ughhh...
  • Ugh, I am depressed now. =(
  • Damn it Sprint/MS I've been holding out for a new phone. Guess I'll be switching to Android and a EVO. I really wanted a WP7 phone. I'm not waiting around till June/July of 2011.
  • This sucks. I've been chomping at the bit for a new phone since my contract came up in June. Then I heard about WM7 in Oct and coincidentally the SERO plans on sprint allowing better plans in Oct. I doubt I can wait until 2011 to upgrade. I really really wanted WP7, but don't know if I'll be able to give up SERO for ATT. Tmobile isn't even an option given their lack of roaming agreements.
  • I don't think the impact of this can be overstated. MS has needed a major OS refresh for nearly two years now (arguably more). To anyone who saw the announcement in February and decided they'd hold onto a phone they didn't like and forgo an upgrade until WP7 comes out this fall, I have to imagine they're feeling pretty jilted right now. It's not about waiting another 6 months. It's about the fact that these people have already waited 24 months! Some loyalists will stick it out, but a lot of folks are going to go Android, at least for this upgrade cycle. Some will never look back.
  • You're describing me exactly. I hate my Touch Pro. I'm past due for a new phone. I really don't know if I'm going to wait on Microsoft or if I'm going to switch to Android now.
  • Yeah this is certainly a true statement. I am stuck with my BB Tour (worst phone ever made) and cannot wait to get rid of it. I was really hoping to go WP7 next month, I have been saving my upgrade for it. I will probably wait it out though as I really do not like Google and wouldn't go Android, and would certainly not buy another BB after my this Tour experience.
  • This is pitiful on the part of Microsoft and is really just a big turn off. Admittedly, it would have somehow been easier to take if Verizon decided not to have Windows Phone 7 devices, but for Microsoft to decide not to have CDMA phones means they have just shot themselves in the foot. What I don't understand is this: what effort on the part of Microsoft is required to implement the radio portion of the OS? I always thought Microsoft did everything up to the radio, except for any customizations desired by the carriers, and the carriers implement the radio. How does Microsoft "save resources" here? Can someone more astute than I explain? Either way, I am suddenly disinterested in Windows Phone 7. I feel treated like my service provider might as well be a country with a foreign language that also won't be supported on the initial release of the OS. I have had it.
  • >What I don't understand is this: what effort on the part of Microsoft is required to implement the radio portion of the OS? I always thought Microsoft did everything up to the radio, except for any customizations desired by the carriers, and the carriers implement the radio. How does Microsoft "save resources" here? Can someone more astute than I explain? Up till tonight this my thinking as well, which is why I never put too much emphasis on the "GSM will get the first crack" quote from a few months ago. Wish I could answer your question and it's something we'll look to ask MS directly when we get the chance.
  • I'd imagine that MS had to do extensive testing and perhaps they felt they would only have time to test 3 or 4 GSM bands as opposed to the specialized CDMA bands as well. Who knows what other variables that could throw into the mix. I used to be with Sprint. I'd be very upset if I was in the same position as CDMA users are now. I think getting some phones on Verizon would have really helped MS push the platform considering how well Motorola's Droid series is doing right now.
  • So this announcement, coupled with what I thought was Verizon removing all Windows Mobile phones from their lineup seems to spell doom for Microsoft products on Verizon's network. How much clearer can the intent be? It's really chickenshit for Microsoft to have all of this fanfare for WP7 earlier this year if they, in the end, decided to leave out two of the United States four major service providers. I'm so tired of Microsoft's poor business judgement and senseless hijinks. For a company that really needed to hit a home run with this OS, looks to me like they might not even make it to first base. I bet consumers just say "Fuck it, Microsoft!"
  • The world does not revolve around the US and its minority CDMA carriers, not launching on Verizon wont doom anything. WP7 will have a strong US presence with at&t, like them or not they are obviously the best choice to launch with in the US.
  • I don't think anyone's suggesting the world revolves around the US. I don't understand why these conversations always have to take this line of thinking. I'll say the same thing as others - I feel screwed by this announcement. No way in hell I am going to AT&T, I like Sprint service, plans, price, signal strength and I have been holding off on an upgrade for Win Phone 7. So yep, in this case the world revolves around me and I just got screwed
  • If WP7 goes out to a solid start and sales are strong sprint and verizon will rethink their schedules and speed up WP7 deployment, that's all it is. But this just shows how a mess the US phone market is, it's about time you guys picked one system and stopped fragmenting the market so much. You only have the carriers to blame and not really MS in this case.
  • I truly love Microsoft's products and ongoing innovation. They have finally managed to refine integration to the point where one need not "kludge" a fix among different interfaces, software, and devices. I have enjoyed Sprint's network quality and greatly-improved customer service for over two years now. Leaving VZW was a wise leap, as Sprint's pricing is slightly better (for me) and their reliability second to none. Plus, visiting a Sprint store does not leave me wanting to drop-kick the clueless dult working the floor (VZW still has failed to remedy this dearth of product knowledge/passion in its sales staff). I am still tremendously excited about Windows Phone 7. I will remain with Sprint--and my aging Q9c phone--until they release a suitable Windows Phone 7 device. BUT...
    If they dawddle too long, I may just opt for a prepaid phone with basic functionality and a 3G/4G modem on a laptop. Plus, maybe a ham radio for failsafe backup. I understand that Microsoft likely had to code for the network technology with the most users--namely, GSM. Nevertheless, I find it downright demoralizing that the fragmented U.S. cellular industry is YET AGAIN holding up needed technological advances. We can thank our meddlesome government for its role in facilitating this mess back in the eighties, but I digress. A kind warning to Sprint and Verizon: Though you're till quite viable now, you had better get your acts together and quit f***ing around while the rest of the non-CDMA world marches onward. Should a competing network offer the right combination of coverage, reliability, and bandwidth, do not think for a moment that droves of consumers won't drop you like a bad habit. Oh, and be wary of the "Google gravy train". You (and, to be fair, other carriers) keep churning out the latest Android incarnations faster than procreating rodents, yet you fail to ramp up for a major new multibillion dollar software launch over a year in the making? Android is remarkable to be sure, but you are foolhardy for putting so many eggs in that basket. Your GSM competitors will now beat you to the punch when Windows Phone 7 rolls out. Have fun catching up while they build out their 4G LTE tower space.
  • Its gonna flop anyway.. who cares..
  • Obviously you do or you wouldn't have bothered to comment at all.
  • I'm in the same boat. I'm currently on Sprint and about to sign up under my wife's ATT account the moment WP7 drops.
  • Been waiting since February for this phone to drop. Just got rid of AT&T last week, to be told Sprint won't have it for another 6 months? I've had everything Windows Mobile since 2003. I've put up with shortcomings from this company for too long. If you knew you weren't going to have CDMA ready why wait til now to say it? I've had enough.... HTC EVO here I come.
  • T-Mobile, here I come.
    At least for a little while.
    I figure that 'renting' a t-mobile line until the Sprint phone comes out will cost around $800 (including the phone and ETF). I was going to add a Sprint line for the WP7 phone, my contract isn't up until April, so the actual net cost to me is a lot less than $800. And I'll have a device that I can use on GSM later (if I want) and on Wifi at any time.
    Or sell it.
  • Microsoft is now dead to me; i give up. After owning three awful Windows Mobile devices, then switching to the Palm Pre (love WebOS & Sprint / hate the embarrsing hardware), i have been patiently waiting for a Windows Phone 7 device on Sprint. I have been encouraged by the positive reviews coming out ahead of launch... now this bomb drops. I can only hope that the Board at MS has formed an executive search committe with the task of replacing Ballmer. Let's be honest here - Ballmer has NEVER "got-it" when it comes to Mobile devices. Windows Phone 7 needed to be thier "Manhattan Project" and once again they are falling on thier face... After Windows Mobile and the Kin fiasco, this was their last chance to get it right... I don't see how the are going to achieve the absorption and mindshare they need to become relevant again in mobile with a launch on only GSM networks... What a joke... Will Ballmer EVER understand how much brand equity goodwill they are losing over these mobile device flops??? I am not an Appple fanboy (don't even own an iPod), but who can deny the fact that the success of the iPod has caused ALL of Apple's other products to be more attractive to the consumer... It is all tied together... after the Vista disaster, and multiple failed attemps at Mobile, I think that it is time for some new leadership as MS.
  • This is just sad. Get with it Microsoft!
  • Why don't you blame Sprint and Verizon for not using GSM like everyone else in the world does? You would think in the end if all the carriers used the same system it'd be better for you as a consumer, but obv it's just MS's fault again.
  • I would agree that it would be nice if all carries used the same network tech; LTE maybe... someday?? In any event - Microsoft, who has about $40 Billion of cash on-hand, has developed a product that is going to exclude 50% of the US market (140 Million subscribers) at launch. How does that make sense? How is that good management? Oh yeah, and this product, according to everything that i have read about it, is not even on-par with its compeition. Brilliant!!!
  • Because Verizon is the best network in the country and no other manufacturer, like Samsung and it's Galaxy S phones for example, has issue making GSM and CDMA phones? Microsoft has had years and years, don't blame anyone but them.
  • I left AT&T just over a month ago for Sprint. I had four lines on ATT but I held off on the fourth line on Sprint waiting for WP7. I would have stayed on ATT if I had known that Sprint would not get WP7 until next year. I guess I'm going to go with an Epic 4g or wait until the next big Android phone comes out on Sprint. I'm not waiting!!!!!
  • The timing is definitely bad, as it seems many were eagerly awaiting its launch this year. But Verizon and Sprint dont constitute the sum of all carrier subsccribers in the world and a successful launch on at&t and other international countries will mean a better launch on CDMA carriers later.
  • Sorry, but this is a bad one on Microsoft (whom I typically am defending). Like it or not Big Red is the biggest network in the country and has by far the best coverage, particularly in terms of data. MS really should have assigned the needed resources to be ready ON TIME for CDMA. Having WP7 roll out only on a carrier with one of the worst service reputations around is going to stunt growth.
  • Exactly... and don't forget to mention that this is the ONLY U.S. carrier selling the iPhone!!! We all know that everyone on AT&T that wants a phone like a WP7 handset is already on the iPhone... Are you kidding me?? This seems like a bad joke... T-Mobile looks to be the biggest beneficiary of the WP7 launch in the US market... My prediction is that HP will lauch some quality hardware with WebOS 2.0 before WP7 hits CDMA networks... Great strategy / leadership on behalf of MS.
  • One could say the same thing about android and verizon, everybody who wants one has one so whats the advantage of verizon again?
  • At least it is only a few months longer... Apple hasn't figured out how to do CDMA and it's been 4 years. :)
  • I think everyone is overreacting. I'm pretty sure that you'll see CDMA around the beginning of 2011. Supporting GSM from the start was the best decision. Plus ATT agreed to carrier something like 8 devices and millions in stock. Verizon kind of soured the relationship with MS when they agreed to carry the Kin but charged out the butt on the data side. Sprint has generally only offered 1 or 2 winmo devices as well. If I was MS I would also be a little hesitant to run to Sprint/Verizon as they are pushing Android so hard. The pieces are in place the last piece is to price em cheap. If MS can outprice the Iphone and Android (free to 99.99) then they have a real shot at huge market adoption which is what they need. I bet MS is willing to lose billions to make sure they remain relevant in the mobile marketspace. Just like they did with the Xbox.
  • sprint is a launch partner... I will laugh if sprint lauches 1 or 2 this yaer lol what will microsoft say then to? (oops we thought wss gsm?) lol