Windows Phone 7 launch in pictures

Today's launch of Microsoft Windows 7 came with a large dollop of remorse from the company for the poor performance of its previous mobile operating systems - and a surprise endorsement from celebrity Apple-lover Stephen Fry.

An audience of press and pundits gathers at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on The Mall in London.

MD of Microsoft UK Ashley Highfield explains the "similar DNA" that lies behind each of the company's recent launches: putting the consumer at the heart of things.

Even a usually bullish Steve Ballmer was on more humble form, as the company admitted having made some mistakes with its earlier mobile phone operating systems. Appearing live by simulcast from New York, Ballmer introduced the audience to Microsoft's eye-watering Windows Phone 7 catchphrase, "Always delightful, wonderfully mine".

Emphasising the importance of content, developer and network partners in the launch, Ballmer introduced a few of the big names supporting the new Windows Phone 7 platform.

Microsoft's president of mobile business, Andy Lees, outlines the six handsets from HTC, LG, Samsung and Dell that will be available to consumers in the UK from October 21st...

...while in a surprise move described by Ashley Highfield as "high risk", arch-Microsceptic Stephen Fry took to the stage to declare himself a fan of the platform.

"I am genuinely thrilled," exclaimed Fry. "I never thought this day would come, to stand on this stage and praise Microsoft for doing something they can be proud of."