Verizon’s first Windows Phone 7 phone comes next week

It’s a bit late to the game, but Verizon is now ready to launch a phone using Microsoft’s new mobile operating system.

The HTC Trophy, the carrier’s flagship Windows Phone 7 device, will go on sale on May 26, initially only at Verizon’s website. The phone will actually start popping up in retail stores on June 2.

The device, which features a 3.8-inch touchscreen, a 1 GHz Qualcomm processor, a 5-megapixel camera, and 16 GB of built-in memory, will retail for $200 with a new two-year service agreement. Customers can also send in for a $50 mail-in rebate Visa gift card, bringing the net total price to $150.

It runs on Verizon’s 3G network (no 4G here).

The release date is the same as Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play, another anticipated Verzion phone powered by Android which lets users play classic and new Playstation games.

Windows Phone 7 has made a noteworthy splash in the mobile environment, thanks in part to its deep integration with Microsoft Office products as well as the Xbox Live gaming platform.

However, the mobile OS isn’t expected to be a huge competitor to Android and iOS until Nokia starts pushing out a whole new line of WP7-powered phones throughout the world as early as this year.

If you don’t want to wait for the Nokia deal to materialize, though, the Trophy can do the job. In fact, if you’re really eager, Verizon is offering a free Xbox 360 game – Halo: Reach, Lode Runner, or Kinect Sports – to anyone who buys the phone before July 15.