Microsoft has announced that Windows Phones - the first handsets to feature Windows Mobile 6.5 - will be arriving on 6 October. They'll be arriving on a variety of operators and from a number of manufacturers and will include My Phone and Marketplace for Mobile.

In Europe, Orange and Vodafone will be selling the handsets, made by Acer, HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba. The new software has a redesigned set of applications including Internet Explorer Mobile with Flash Lite support, and Office Mobile for editing office documents.

Windows Live is also arriving, which will let people access their social networks - Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, as well as Windows Live Messenger. The Marketplace will let users buy applications too, and My Phone will allow users to back up and sync photos, music, contacts and text messages.

Todd Peters, Microsoft's VP of Mobile Communications Marketing, told Pocket-lint: "A Windows phone gives people a single phone that works for their whole life, keeping them connected to the people and information they care most about by harnessing the power of the PC, phone and Web".