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Verizon Tipped To Release Microsoft 'Pink' Phones

Reports: Teen-targeted handsets set for sale in late spring or early summer.

The phones are "targeted at teenagers" and will be released "around May or June," according to a Bloomberg report sourcing "people familiar with the companies' plans."

"The models will have easy access to social networking sites and keyboards for sending text messages," the report continued, citing another source who said that Sharp will make the handsets.

The Project Pink phones are seen as Microsoft's challenge to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android-based smart phones. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant has not had much success with its Windows-based phones in a consumer smart phone market where Apple dominates the high-end and Google is making inroads.

By teaming with Verizon, it seems that Microsoft will be taking a different path to market than Apple and Google with what would perhaps be its signature smart phone entry. Apple's iPhone, of course, is the model of vertical integration -- Apple has a hand in every part of its journey to the consumer. Google, though it makes the Android SDK available to others, is the sole source of its own Nexus One phone.

So what will the Microsoft-Verizon handset look like? Gizmodo has what it says are the first product shots and specs.

We just hope the Project Pink Phone isn't as blurry in real life.

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