Leak: Is This HTC's Windows Phone 7 Smartphone?

Last week, it was confirmed that HTC is one of the major smartphone manufacturers who will offer a Windows Phone 7 smartphone. Now, photos of what appear to be a near-final version of such a phone have leaked online. The photos show a smartphone with a 3.7-inch Super LCD screen.

The leaked information also suggests HTC's Windows Phone 7 device will have a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 8-megapixel camera, and three touch-sensitive buttons at the bottom of the device. Verizon Wireless and possibly Sprint have been mentioned as likely carriers for the unnamed device.

Although the specs of this supposed HTC Windows Phone 7 device are mostly speculation, they appear to line up with the minimum hardware requirements set by Microsoft. With this upcoming mobile OS, Microsoft is dictating much more about the phones than it has in the past. For example, all Windows Phone 7 devices will have Home, Search, and Back hardware buttons; a capacitive multitouch screen; a minimum 5-megapixel camera; and 1GHz Snapdragon or similar processor. Microsoft is also requiring manufacturers to put Wi-Fi, GPS, an accelerometer, and a minimum of 256MB RAM and 4GB of flash memory storage on the devices.

Whereas HTC has been known to create its own custom UIs such as the Sense UI for its phones, Microsoft has said no manufacturer device overlays will be allowed on upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices. By dictating these hardware and software requirements, Microsoft could help avoid fragmentation that could otherwise deter third-party application developers. In this sense, Microsoft is following Apple's approach to maintain a minimum set of uniform features so applications will run consistent throughout all Windows Phone 7 devices.