Microsoft this week announced the availability of its new Windows phones in a range throughout North America, Europe and Asia. We've got the full announcement below but first we asked the legal market team in Redmond for what the relevance would be for lawyers. This is what they said…
 
With a Windows phone, lawyers can trust that they’ll have easy access to familiar experiences with the push of the Start button in the following areas that they rely on everyday. Windows phone users will gain these new features:

• Email: Delivers the industry’s best email and calendaring experience, and the ability for lawyers to manage multiple email accounts right from their Windows phone.
• Office: Provides the ability to use PowerPoint, and open and edit Word and Excel from their phone with Microsoft Office Mobile, as well as other line of business applications.
• Choice: Enables lawyers to pick from a smart range of designs from leading partners carried by a wide range of mobile operators (list below). Windows phone users can choose the right device for managing their mobile life through the best screen size, keyboard options, touch functionality, and style for their individual needs.
• Browsing: Features a redesigned Windows Internet Explorer mobile browser with Adobe Flash Lite support that makes the mobile Web browsing experience similar to what lawyers expect from their PC.
• Social networking: Facilitates social networking experiences with What’s New feeds and built-in support for Windows Live messaging and major social networking sites (such as Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr).
• Apps/Services: Brings new services such as My Phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile. With the opening of Windows Marketplace for Mobile, popular mobile applications such as Facebook, MySpace, Netflix and Twikini, as well as leading game and business titles can be easily purchased and installed directly on a Windows phone. All applications are certified by Microsoft to run on Windows phones and backed by a simple return policy.
 
And here's more details from the formal release…
Microsoft Corp has announced the availability of a new line of Windows phones around the world that are available in a broad range of styles and prices. With a Windows phone, people can navigate their phone easily with the touch of a finger1 and browse the Internet on a great mobile browser. People can also connect to two new services that allow them to back up and share data from their phone to the Web and buy a variety of useful applications from the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Microsoft expects partners to deliver more than 30 new phones in more than 20 countries by the end of 2009.
 
With the launch of these new Windows phones, Microsoft debuts new services that bring added value to people. My Phone is a free service that helps people manage and back up the invaluable information stored on their phone and provides peace of mind and an easy restore option in the event of a lost or damaged phone. My Phone automatically synchronizes the specific types of a phone’s content the user chooses – from contacts and appointments to texts, photos and more – to a password-protected Web site. As part of the free service, people can go online and map the last known location of their phone from when it was last synchronized. In addition, a set of more advanced “lost phone” features are being offered as a premium package that people can activate as needed.

The My Phone Premium package includes the ability to immediately locate the phone’s current location on a map (in the US only); remotely lock a phone and post an “if found” message to its screen; loudly ring the phone even if it is set to vibrate or silent mode; and ultimately, if needed, completely erase the phone to protect personal data from falling into the wrong hands. People using My Phone on their phone running either Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1 or 6.5 can access the premium package free of charge until November 30, 2009. After that date, seven-day access to the premium package will be available for purchase for $4.99 in the US.

Also launching is Windows Marketplace for Mobile, which offers people an easy way to find and purchase high-quality mobile applications for both work and play, while creating a new opportunity for developers to reach millions of people using Windows phones worldwide. Microsoft is pleased today to introduce 246 quality  mobile applications initially in Windows Marketplace for work and play, with more than 753 ISVs worldwide on board to continue building out the catalog.
 
Windows phones give people the power to choose the phone that best fits their style and budget by offering phones with a full physical QWERTY keyboard, others with just a large touch screen, and some with both touch screen and keyboard. Microsoft and its partners now deliver a variety of Windows phones for people to choose from in several regions:
 
In North America:
·         HTC Pure from AT&T
·         HTC Imagio from Verizon Wireless
·         Samsung Intrepid from Sprint, available Oct. 11, 2009
·         HTC Tilt 2 from AT&T, available in the coming weeks
 
In Latin America:
·         Samsung Omnia available in the coming weeks from TIM Brasil
 
In Europe:
·         MDA Vario V, MDA Compact V and HTC Touch2 and the Samsung Omnia II from Deutsche Telekom in select European markets
·         HTC HD2 from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France
·         HTC Touch2 from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France, Spain, Switzerland and Romania
·         A software update for the HTC Touch Pro2 from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France, UK and Romania
·         Samsung Omnia II from Orange, available in the coming weeks in Poland, Switzerland and Slovakia and from early December in France
·         Samsung Omnia LITE from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France and Spain
·         Samsung Omnia PRO B7320 from Orange, available in the coming weeks in France and the UK
·         Toshiba TG01 W from Orange, available as an update to the TG01 in the coming weeks in France, the UK, Switzerland and Romania
·         LG GM750 and Samsung Omnia II from SFR in France
·         TMN Bluebelt 2 and TMN Silverbelt, made by ZTE Corp, from TMN in Portugal
·         Samsung Omnia II and Omnia LITE from TMN in Portugal
·         HTC Touch Diamond2 from Vodafone in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa and Central Europe
·         HTC Touch Pro2 from Vodafone in the UK and Switzerland
·         LG GM750 from Vodafone in Germany, the UK, Spain and the Netherlands
 
The following phones are available on the open market in Europe:
·         Samsung Omnia II, Omnia LITE, Omnia PRO B7320, Omnia PRO B7330 and Omnia PRO B7610 available in October
 
In Asia:
·         ZTE X60 from China Unicom
·         HTC Touch Diamond2 from Telstra
 
The following phones are available on the open market in Asia:
·         Acer beTouch E100, beTouch E101, beTouch E200 and Acer neoTouch
·         Garmin-ASUS nüvifone M20
·         HTC Snap, HTC Touch Pro2, HTC Touch Diamond2 and HTC Touch2
·         LG GM730 and LG GM550
·         Samsung Omnia II and Samsung Omnia PRO B7320, Omnia PRO B7330
 
Information about the latest updates and new Windows phones is available at www.windowsphone.com