Thought: Special plan from at&t and Microsoft for Windows Phone 7?

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Most people are puzzled as to why Microsoft, needing all the help it could get from carriers to revive its mobile fortunes, chose to go with the most loathed of all carriers at&t? I too was perplexed at first, then a few things started falling into place.

  • Firstly, at&t is most likely losing its exclusive deal with the iPhone so they need something to replace it and it will not be Android since Verizon has claimed it as its own.
  • Secondly, Verizon and Microsoft do have an acrimonious relationship as highlighted by this article. With that in mind, we may never see WP7 on Verizon for a long while.
  • Thirdly, Microsoft and at&t are partnering in other areas such as bringing u-verse to the Xbox 360 ( a direct assault to Verizon Fios, Google TV and Apple TV-IMHO)

So with all that going on, I think the plan will be that at&t will offer new WP7 devices with an unlimited data or match the $30 unlimited data that comes with the iPad which is far cheaper than any plan it offers with its lineup of smartphones. Remember that when the iPhone first came out, the unlimited data plan was part of the package unlike some other smartphones which had to incur extra charges for that privilege. Windows Phone 7 is very data intensive, with the constant updating of live tiles, automatic uploading of pictures to SkyDrive and the ability to stream music via the Zune pass. The current limited data plans would most likely be inadequate.

With almost every other carrier moving towards meter/limited data plans, this would be a huge incentive to purchase a WP7 device. Microsoft got burned by Verizon on the Kin data pricing so they may also be subsidizing part of the cost to make sure the new OS does not suffer the same fate. I think this will be one of the big surprises come Monday. If it does happen, you heard it hear first. If it doesn’t, well, I’m just an enthusiastic Microsoft fan who got a little bit carried away!

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