Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh in Beijing

Microsoft has partnered with manufacturers like Nokia, HTC, Samsung and ZTE in launching the latest update to Windows Phone 7 worldwide. With improved localization support among the highlights of this update, it’s only fitting that Microsoft launched the update — called Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh — in China.

The Chinese launch of Windows Phone 7 involves three Windows Phone devices meant for the Chinese market. These include the HTC Eternity (previously codenamemd Triumph, and known as Titan in western markets), the Nokia Lumia 800c and the ZTE Mimosa. The event was graced by executives from China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Nokia, ZTE, HTC and Samsung, reports MIC Gadget. Microsoft China CEO Simon Leung explained the highlights of Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh, including Live Tiles and People Hub.

The China release of Windows Phone 7 includes built-in support for social media services like Sina Weibo and Renren, in lieu of Twitter, Facebook and Xbox LIVE, given restrictions in the country. Tencent Weixin and SkyDrive are likewise integrated in the local version of Windows Phone 7.5.

Previously codenamed “Tango” this update to Windows Phone 7 focuses on bringing the platform to the entry-level market, with better support for lower-spec devices. Microsoft’s earlier release of Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” directed toward higher-end devices. Under the official name Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh, the update likewise brings improved localization support, and better social networking integration.

Microsoft’s Leung said 2,000 dedicated Chinese applications have already been developed for Windows Phone 7.5, with up to 6,000 Chinese developers working on building apps for the platform. While HTC, Nokia and ZTE were first to announce WP7 smartphones in the country, other manufacturers are expected to follow suit.

Smartphones Launched

HTC launched the Eternity during the event, which was previously codenamed Triumph in the Chinese market. The smartphone is basically a Chinese version of the HTC Titan from the U.S. The Eternity is powered by a 1.5 GHz single-core processor with 512MB of RAM and 16 GB of built-in storage. The smartphone has a 4.7-inch 480×800 pixel capacitive touchscreen, and comes with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash. The smartphone is already on sale not locked to any network.

Meanwhile, ZTE’s Mimosa is an entry-level device that comes with an 800 MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 4GB of built in storage and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.

Nokia will launch the Lumia 610C by March 28, and ZTE will launch the Mimosa by May 4.