Verizon responded to a customer via Twitter that the carrier is excited by Windows Phone and is ready to carry the mobile OS when Microsoft has the devices ready. This response is a complete reversal for Verizon, which earlier this year was rather “ho-hum” towards Windows Phone. Former Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam earlier had this to say about Microsoft :
“I can’t really say which phones we’ll offer yet. We like our relationship with Microsoft. But clearly in the U.S. there are three major mobile operating systems: RIM, Google, and Apple.”
McAdam further closed the door on Microsoft by stating that Windows Phone was not “at the forefront of our mind.”
Of course, things can change and perhaps Verizon is interested in Windows Phone now that it has launched and has been received favorably as a good first effort by Microsoft. This change in heart may also be tied to the departure of McAdam, who left his CEO position with Verizon Wireless to join parent company Verizon communications as its President and COO.
It also seems more than coincidence that Verizon is showing interest in Windows Phone at the same time it is rumored to be re-launching the once-dead Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two. After the two Kin handsets were cancelled earlier this year, the duo was spotted on a leaked Verizon Wireless Q4 2010 launch guide.
Regardless of the reasons behind this change, it is encouraging to see Verizon making room in its smartphone lineup for handsets outside of Android. Verizon will be carrying the webOS-powered Palm Pre 2 soon and hopefully a sweet Windows Phone handset in early 2011 that will rival Sprint’s Windows Phone offering, the QWERTY-packing HTC 7 Pro.
The wild card in Verizon’s upcoming lineup is the iPhone which is rumored to land in Big Red in early 2011. Who knows what will happen to Verizon’s smartphone lineup if the iPhone 4 were to land on a carrier outside of AT&T in the U.S.