Microsoft is to finally launch its first foray into the smartphone hardware market with the launch of two smartphones on 12 April, that will replace the void left by the Sidekick in the US.

Branded as the "Pink" phones, Microsoft is expected to launch the much rumoured Turtle and Pure handsets, that will run a variation of Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7, at an event titled "It's Time To Share".

Microsoft has yet to officially confirm that's the case, but that hasn't stopped Cnet's Ina Fried claiming the 12 April event will be the Microsoft Turtle and Microsoft Pure handsets, that have been rumoured to be launching for some time.

The devices are thought to be running a dedicated operating system based on the Danger OS found in the Sidekick handset, a company that Microsoft bought in February 2009.

The Sidekick has struggled to keep popularity after the rise of more savvy smartphones and a major data outage that saw most users messages deleted.

We will keep you posted.