Windows Phone 7 drought baffles stockists -

Despite Windows Phone 7 handsets being officially launched in the UK via the HTC Mozart and Samsung Omnia on 21 October, to considerable fanfare at the time, it seems that Microsoft has been keeping everyone in the dark.

TechEye has heard from punters that despite the smartphone being released some time ago on the Orange network it is proving rather tricky to actually get hold of. 

Indeed a central London Orange store was completely out of stock.  Not because of sales; they had not received the HTC handset at all. Staff were unable to provide any more information as to why the phone was nowhere to be seen.  Despite an advert saying "Windows Phone 7 has arrived" many stockists have yet to be graced by its presence.

Other stockists, such as T-Mobile, have pushed launches back on a number of occasions according to staff, and there seems to be a common theme of the product arriving in the coming days or the next week. But no one knows exactly when.

Staff at a T-Mobile store in Camden, London said that they were still waiting for the handet to arrive but were unable to comment as to why it is nowhere to be seen. Why are staff clueless about the Windows Phone devices post-'launch'? 

Windows Phone 7 is due to be released in America next week, begging the question - has Microsoft essentially ‘soft’ launched the product in Europe ahead of its release in America? Is Microsoft testing the water?

Microsoft is taking feedback into consideration and is already beginning to make changes ahead of the US release.

So could Microsoft be testing the waters with their device, long in production and a latecomer to the smartphone market, in Europe before rolling out properly across the world, and if so, why would Redmond launch the phone with such limited stock? Perhaps the launch hasn't been as well received as Microsoft's marketing would like the world and its dog to think.