Nokia to launch first Windows Phones in Europe

Nokia has announced that its first wireless phones based on the Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system will launch later this year in six European countries. Venture Beat reports that those six territories will include the Netherlands, France, Germany, England, Spain, and Italy. Victor Saeijs, VP of Nokia Europe, said that getting the first WP7 devices in the Netherlands was important since 80 percent of wireless phone users in that country use smartphones, making it one of the biggest markets for smartphones in the world.

Officially, the US office of Nokia would not comment on Saeijs' statements, saying only that the company has "increased confidence" that the first Nokia phone with Windows Phone 7 will be released later this year. Nokia announced last February that it was putting all its eggs into Microsoft's WP7 basket. Nokia is still the largest maker of wireless phones but it has seen its market share diminish in recent years thanks in part to the success of phones that use Google's Android operating system and of course Apple's iPhone.

Nokia has been using its own in-house operating system, Symbian, for its phones for years but will phase out the OS in favor of Windows Phone 7. However before that happens, Nokia will still release phonse with new versions of the Symbian OS. Venture Beat reports that the Netherlands would get phones with the Symbian Anna OS installed in July. Another major update, code named Belle, is also expected to be released by Nokia later this year.

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