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Microsoft’s Project Pink Resurfaces With More Evidence

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REDMOND, USA – New evidence to back-up the existence of the mysterious Pink series of smartphones from Microsoft has emerged in the wild, further adding to the hype surrounding the foray of Microsoft into affordable smartphones.

Leaked images of publicity material of US carrier Verizon have revealed two devices with slide-out QWERTY keyboards. The leaked screen-shots show a non-Windows Phone 7 Series user interface hinting at the possibility of a lower-end mobile platform from Microsoft.

Microsoft has been at the receiving end of negative criticism over its minimum hardware requirements for Windows Phone 7 Series, released late last month. The software giant has listed a minimum clockspeed of 1GHz for qualifying smartphones, pushing the manufacturing cost to the upper end of smartphone market. However, keen to make inroads into the entry-level smartphone segment, Microsoft may unveil a mobile OS targeted at this emerging segment.

In the last couple of weeks, Microsoft’s Project Pink has been at the center of attraction for speculations. Images of two devices tentatively named Pure and Turtle, have been shown flaunting an unknown UI, leading to the speculation of new mobile platform from Microsoft. Further, leaked firmware reveals integration of popular online services of  Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Windows Live, along with Microsoft’s homegrown media management tool-Zune.

The mobile platform is also believed to be based on Windows CE, and, unlike Windows Phone 7 Series, application support for this new platform will be far-more limited owing to the hardware restrictions imposed by the mediocre hardware of this segment of smartphones.

The leaked Verizon publication material suggests a US launch on 20th April of the two devices at an unknown price.  A possible worldwide launch is also being speculated after of leaked firmware revealed support for both CDMA and GSM hardware. With smartphone segment seeing increased competition over the last couple of years, manufacturers and OS developers are now eager to cash-on every conceivable sub-segment within this bandwagon.

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By , Chief International Correspondent on Mar 9th, 2010 GMT +2

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