Microsoft unveils new smartphones

Microsoft has launched its latest assault on the smartphone market with a series of Windows Phone 7 devices.

The US computer giant believes the new range of mobiles has the firepower to take on Apple's iPhone and those running the Google operating system, Android.

Tony Cripps, an analyst at the research group Ovum, said there was a "huge amount" resting on the launch for Microsoft. It comes several months after the company was forced to pull its Kin smartphones after just 48 days because of poor sales.

Microsoft unveiled a range of handsets running Windows Phone 7, which included HTC, Samsung, LG and Dell. They will be available in 30 countries.

Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, said the devices delivered "a different kind of mobile phone and experience".

The handsets were generally well received by analysts. Mr Cripps said the new devices put Microsoft "on the edge of a smartphone renaissance".