Microsoft prepping low-cost Windows Phone 7 handsets

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Microsoft is reportedly working on a line of budget-conscious Windows Phone 7 devices for emerging markets, say folks present at a developer event in India. If the reports are correct, the cheaper handsets will arrive sometime next year and they will be noticeably different from their pricier brethren. The low-cost version will have a different chassis than the models coming later this year, according to Sudeep Bharati, a developer for Microsoft India's Visual Studio Team.

The first round of Windows Phone 7 devices will conform to strict guidelines with mandatory features such as a touchscreen and a price range on par with competing smartphones. It's anyone's guess what the budget products will consist of, but some speculate the phones will have a smaller screen, at the very least. No OEMs were mentioned to be directly involved with the low-end phones, however, HTC, Samsung and LG are building upper-tier Windows Phone 7 handsets.

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