updated 12:05 pm EST, Tue November 27, 2007
Microsoft Backs Verizon
Microsoft on Tuesday was quick to say it would support Verizon's new Any App, Any Device initiative, encouraging companies to produce unlocked phones that would support Verizon's network. As US cellular customers get used to smartphones, they will want the ability to install their own software and the freedom to switch carriers, Microsoft claims. The Redmond-based software maker's Windows Mobile 6 OS technically allows users to install apps signed by Microsoft but is often restricted by Verizon and other carriers, which in the past have regularly blocked voice-over-IP and other programs that would compete with their own services.
No announcements of specific phones were included with the news, an absence which may stem from the nature of Verizon's network. Most unlocked cellular-capable devices are not available for CDMA cellular services like those from Verizon, making it less likely that customers will find phones using Windows Mobile or other platforms that can be ported between providers. Unrestricted devices using the Microsoft OS are more often found using GSM due to some European laws, many of which allow users to bring their smartphones with them when switching providers.