Microsoft is to unveil its first Microsoft-branded phones today in a move aimed at strengthening its presence in the mobile phone market.
The two phones are part of Microsoft's long awaited 'Project Pink' portfolio and are aimed at the teenage market.
The phones will not be powered by Windows 7 software and will be priced competitively against the Apple iPhone and Google Nexus One.
The Microsoft-branded phones will be made by Sharp and sold by Verizon Wireless in the States. The handsets are expected to be successors of the Sidekick, which was made by Danger, a handset manufacturer which was bought by Microsoft two years ago.
Analysts believe the new phones may be forerunners to a Microsoft-branded portfolio of smartphones.
'This is a trial for Microsoft,' Morningstar analyst Toan Tran told Reuters. 'If this goes well or better than they expect, they may be more willing to dip their toe in the water and build a full-fledged phone.'
'This is a critical product for Microsoft, they have been doing very badly in the smartphone market,' said Jack Gold, head of technology research and consulting firm J. Gold Associates. 'They basically have to do something to get back into the market space.'
Microsoft's smartphone market share in the US fell in Q1 from 19% to 15%. It is currently in third place behind RIM and Apple but analysts are predicting it could fall into fourth place behind Google if the software giant does not raise its game.