It’s just coming up on a year now since the release of the first Windows Phone 7 gear. It’s been a busy year, with the second wave of hardware arriving, and Mango continuing to flow out and update system software. As this anniversary approaches, expect to see plenty of analysis of sales figures and market share, trying to neatly summarize Microsoft’s efforts towards launching the new OS. While we’re sure some pundits will take this opportunity to call WP7′s first year disappointing, it seems premature to pass judgment on an OS that’s still just getting warmed-up. Even now, a year into things, the platform’s reach is still expanding, and Microsoft should soon be able to target more smartphone users than ever, announcing plans for sales to begin in Africa and the Middle East.
Phones will be sold through distributor Brightpoint and the Windows Phone Online Shop, launching this fall. The site will be accessible in English, French, Arabic, and Turkish, and will allow users to order Windows Phone 7 devices for delivery; we haven’t heard about any plans yet for brick-and-mortar retail sales in the region.
Admittedly, Microsoft still has some work to do insofar as establishing the Windows Phone footprint, but that’s just going to be all the easier with continued growth into new markets like this. We’ll be excited to see how smartphone users in the area take to the operating system.