Microsoft's latest smartphone operating system - Windows Phone 8 - has been unveiled for the first time.
Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei have all agreed to make smartphones powered by the new system, which is based on the same core technologies that power PC OS Windows 8.
Windows Phone 8 has a range of new features, including support for multi-core chips and allowing devices to utilise extra processing power when needed.
It has the ability to work with different screen resolutions, including the high definition 720p format, and can accommodate removable Micro SD cards.
The system also features an app which can transform the phone into a credit card that supports near field communication payments and includes built-in maps that are set to be provided by Nokia's Navteq division.
An easier-to-customise start screen will be offered, while users will be able to make internet calls based on VoIP and video chat technologies.
The US-based company said devices will be available later this year.
Huawei were the first to announce a handset - the Huawei Ascend - which it said would launch in China, Europea and the US.
Microsoft added that its app store, Windows Phone Marketplace, has officially hit 100,000 apps.
The news follows the announcement earlier this week that it is launching its first tablet device. Source:eurocomms.com