Windows Phone finds new allies in Verizon and ATT

AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless are cozying up to Microsoft Corp. and Nokia facing concerns that Apple Inc. and Google Inc. have too tight a grip on the market for smartphone software.

Both carriers praised Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, which runs the new Nokia Lumia phone when they reported quarterly results this month.

It seems like both companies are looking to Microsoft to provide an alternative to Apple’s iPhone and Google Android handsets.

This is due to the high cost of those products to subsidize, especially the iPhone.

“We want the Lumia to succeed — we love to have competition in the handset market,” AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said in an interview. “It’s always better to have more choices for your customers.”

The Apple iPhone made up 78 percent of AT&T’s smartphone sales in the first quarter. At Verizon, the product accounted for 51 percent.

This is great news for Microsoft. If they can get the phone companies genuinely enthusiastic about the Windows Phone products, it might be an interesting horse race.

Windows Phone is definitely still an underdog but this is at least a small sign of hope…

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