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Microsoft Phones: Verizon in April?

Is Microsoft planning to introduce Microsoft-branded phones? Project “Pink” is a rumor that’s been floating around for months, and at this point it’s not that interesting a question. But here’s the latest scuttlebutt, courtesy of Gizmodo: A Sidekick-like Microsoft “social networking” phone will be coming to Verizon Wireless in April. It won’t be running Windows Phone 7 Series, or at least not Windows Phone 7 Series in the form that Microsoft has been talking about.

Maybe that’s Microsoft’s strategy for entering the phone business without ticking off its hardware partners: Use a different flavor of OS for its own phones, and restrict itself to a fairly narrow slice of the market…