Sprint on Monday officially began taking orders for the HTC Arrive, its first phone built around Windows Phone 7.
The Arrive is the only device powered by Microsoft's new mobile OS to include a copy-and-paste function preinstalled—owners of other models will have to wait for the software maker to release the "NoDo" update for WP7. Microsoft has not revealed a specific release date for the update.
The phone, which runs Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon processor, features a slide-out keyboard and a display that tilts upward for easier viewing of multimedia content. It also comes standard with a 5MP camera and 720p HD camcorder and checks in at 6.5 ounces.
Like all Windows Phone 7 devices, the Arrive uses Microsoft's Live Tiles interface as a starting point. Live Tiles push real-time updates from e-mails, social networks, and other communications tools to the forefront of the home screen. It also boasts direct integration with Microsoft products such as Office, Zune, and Xbox Live.
MS Office integration, in particular, could be enough to entice business users to kick the tires on the Arrive and other Windows Phone 7 devices.
The Arrive is now available from the Sprint and Microsoft online stores for $199, with a two-year contract. Amazon Wireless is offering the Arrive for $49.99, with contract.
Other carriers, including AT&T with its Samsung Focus and T-Mobile, which is to be acquired by AT&T under a $39 billion deal announced Sunday, with the HTC HD7, have already dropped the price of their 2-year-plan Windows Phone 7 smartphones to $99 since introducing the products late last year.
Sprint's HTC offering will also have to compete, eventually, with Windows Phone 7 devices from Nokia. Microsoft recently announced that the Finnish phone maker plans to use WP7 throughout the bulk of its smartphone lineup, most likely starting in 2012.
Microsoft shares were up 2.10%, to $25.32, in afternoon trading Monday. Sprint shares were down 16.34%, to $4.22, as investors feared the AT&T-T-Mobile deal could leave the U.S.'s third largest wireless network provider isolated.