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Nokia: Windows Phone 7 devices to launch in "select countries"

Nokia still plans to launch its first smartphones powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system sometime before the end of 2011. But the launch of these phones won't be made on a large scale. News.com reports that during a financial conference call with analysts today, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that the Windows Phone 7 devices launch would only happen in "select countries" this year.

Elop said that part of the reason for a smaller scale launch is because it is such a big move to switch to an all new operating system. He said, "We are being very deliberate in the sequence. It is a significant shift in the organization for how we sell and how we manufacture." Nokia has been using its own Symbian operating system for its smartphones. Some countries still sell a lot of those phones and Elop said, "We're very thoughtful about how we first launch Windows Phone relative to where Symbian is strong so we get the right balance and right dynamics." Nokia is expected to announce its first Windows Phone 7-based devices next week as part of its Nokia World event that's being held in London.

Elop was asked by one of the analysts if it had any plans to release tablets based on Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system. Elop didn't say yes but he didn't say no, either. He responded with, "From an ecosystem perspective, there are benefits and synergies that exist between Windows and Windows Phone. We see that opportunity. We'll certainly consider those opportunities going forward."

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