Dell, HTC, LG, Samsung: Welcome to Windows Phone 7

While there’s still shockingly few details about the launch of the Windows Phone 7 platform, Microsoft has now at least revealed a list of manufacturers that will be producing the first set of Phone 7 handsets.

The Inquirer reports that Asustek, Dell, HTC, LG, and Samsung are all working on Windows Phone 7 devices, although you won’t be able to find names, technical specs, or pictures for any of these devices just yet.

The new operating system is set to launch in the fall, but no one is quite sure what to expect. Microsoft is keeping very quiet on the progress of the platform, which means it is either having difficulty securing hardware commitments or it is waiting to surprise us all. I wonder which it is…

Earlier this year, Microsoft changed the name of its smartphone operating system from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone, which honestly still sounds worse than Android, iOS, WebOS, or Symbian. But I digress. Anyway, the name change was more symbolic than anything else, as a sign that Microsoft was reinventing its mobile platform.

Windows Phone 7 is set to be a high-end smartphone operating system with strict requirements for any device to be able to run it.

Obviously Microsoft has the strength to get top-name manufacturers to get on board, but it still has a colossal climb to even begin rivaling Android or iPhone. The most recent high-profile mobile device to run on a Windows platform, Windows Mobile 6.5, was the HTC HD 2, which has sold pretty well but it has nowhere near the same name recognition as HTC’s Android handsets.

We’ll continue to track Windows Phone 7 and hopefully be able to show a picture of an actual phone at some point.