Today Microsoft set the scene for the availability of Windows Phone 7 handsets next month by revealing several details about the devices that will be available when they launch over the next several weeks and into the 2010 holiday season.

I have put together a lot of resources that are available to bring you up to speed on things in case you missed it all on this Columbus Day holiday in the US. 

Of note during the press conference:

  • U-verse from AT&T will be available for free on Windows Phone 7 handsets to current U-verse customers and at a low cost for those who do not.  This is also coming to the Xbox 360 gaming console soon for Xbox Live.
  • There will be three handsets available from AT&T for the US Launch and Availability on 08 Nov 2010. They are the HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus.  Each will be priced at $199.99 and it was not specified if that was upgrade pricing or not.
  • Zune Software for your PC was updated to version 4.7 which makes it compatible with Windows Phone 7 and opens the Zune Marketplace up to an international audience.
  • Joe Belfiore revealed at the end of his demo that the feedback had been heard in Redmond about Cut and Paste capabilities.  They will be added in January 2011.
  • Speaking of updates – Joe also mentioned that updates are pushed from Microsoft and not the hardware manufacturers. That means everyone using Windows Phone 7 gets the update not just those the hardware manufacturer chooses to push.  This is a great thing for all those frustrated when your handset does not get updated by the OEM.
  • Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is active in the Zune software already.  Not a lot of apps listed there yet but we are still a month from launch.  Reports are that there will be nearly 2000 apps at that time.  A Twitter app was noticeably absent in my search of the apps.
  • You will log onto your various accounts (social, email, Xbox Live) just once and then access to that network will be ready anywhere lese you might come across it in Windows Phone 7.
  • EA mobile is a US launch partner and will release a suite of mobile games for the new Windows Phone handsets.  The collection will include The Sims and Need For Speed Undercover!
  • Microsoft Office is thoroughly integrated into Windows Phone 7.
  • Three standard buttons on every Windows Phone 7 handset. Back, Windows Start and Search.
  • Search has its own button for a reason on a Windows Phone 7 handset.
  • Zune has its own place in the Windows Phone 7 OS as well.  Zune is to Windows Phone 7 handsets as iTunes is to the iPhone.
  • There are also Windows Phone 7 devices being launched from other US mobile carriers as well as international ones.  I have mentioned some of them below. This announcement in NYC focused on AT&T hardware.

During the live event someone tweeted that Microsoft starting over on Windows Mobile was a good choice because of the innovations in Windows Phone 7 and I could not agree more.  I believe that is also what made Windows 7 such a better OS when its development was kick started. At least it certainly seemed to work in these two cases.

Here is a collection of news and stories about today’s announcements for you to peruse.  I know many will be many similar but there always seems to be a unique tidbit in different stories:

So will you be buying a Windows Phone 7 handset?  Check out our poll in the right hand side sidebar and let us know.