Microsoft is reportedly launching a set of Chinese Windows Phones in early 2012, according to reports.
The software giant has picked an initial retail launch partner in China to distribute the devices. Suning, a high street electronics retailer with 700 store in China, is expected to partner with Microsoft for the Windows Phone launch. QQ Finance reports that Microsoft will provide priority access to Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices for distribution in China.
Microsoft recently expanded its Windows Phone Marketplace to India and opened up its developer support in China. Windows Phone developers in China can submit applications to the Marketplace but end user support has not yet been enabled. Microsoft is expected to launch its Marketplace in China in early 2012 alongside a handset launch.
The software maker has also added a variety of Asian languages to Windows Phone 7.5 including support for Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The input support varies from 12 character keyboards to handwriting support. Microsoft has also modified the Metro design of Windows Phone to accommodate for vertical text layout across panoramas and other native applications. Microsoft’s push into emerging markets is an important one for Windows Phone growth and the ability for Nokia, its close partner, to distribute low-cost Windows Phone devices.