What's a couple billion dollars in fines among friends? Not much, and despite Microsoft's rocky relationship with the European Union, the software juggernaut plans on releasing its Windows Phone 7 device in Europe in October, one month ahead of its U.S. launch.
"Now let's talk about phones," Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said during a recent presentation. "This has been tough. This is a low-light. For me, the company -- it's tough. But you know what? In the October time-frame -- in October likely across Europe, in November likely across the U.S. -- the game... we're back in the game. And this game is not over."
This isn't the first we've heard of an October launch for the Windows Phone 7, but there was no word on where that launch would take place. We now know, perhaps inadvertently, that Europe will get first crack at the device, which is somewhat surprising considering the EU's heavy handed fines against Microsoft in the past few years. Back in February 2008, the EU nailed Microsoft with a record breaking $1.4 billion for antitrust violations, and then a year later forced Microsoft into including a browser ballot with its Windows OS.