Windows Phone 7 hits technical preview as first reviews roll in

Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system has today reached its biggest milestone yet, with a technical preview announced placing the OS on the "home stretch" to launch.

The technical preview of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's hot new operating system which it hopes will challenge the likes of Apple's iOS and Research in Motion's Blackberry OS, will soon be in the hands of "thousands" of developers on prototype devices built by manufactures including Asus, LG and Samsung.

According to Microsoft, more than 1000 employees have been testing the operating system for "usability, battery life, network connectivity, and many other metrics," which it says have helped make the technical preview edition of Windows Phone 7 a "surprisingly high quality" operating system.

"We are certainly not done yet - but the craftsmen (and women) of our team have signed off that our software is now ready for the hands-on everyday use of a broad set of consumers around the world - and we're looking forward to their feedback in the coming weeks, so that we can finish the best Windows Phone release ever together," Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone Engineering, wrote tonight.

"We're almost there - but there is much work left to do. Together, with our early adopter customers, developers, OEM, and mobile operator partners we are in the home stretch."

In light of the milestone, Microsoft have provided a number of high profile blogs, including Engadget and Boy Genius Report, a device running the preview of Windows Phone 7, with initial reviews appearing today.

It's believed that the final launch of Windows Phone 7 devices is still expected to occur sometime during the 2010 holiday season.

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