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Samsung to Release First Windows 8 Models in U.S.

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest seller of smartphones, said it will offer its first Windows Phone 8 models in the U.S. in the coming weeks.

The company will sell the ATIV Odyssey, which runs on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone 8 operating system, through Verizon Wireless, Samsung said today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Sprint Nextel Corp. also plans to introduce a Samsung Windows Phone 8 handset by summer, as well as one from HTC Corp., according to a separate statement.

For Samsung, offering Windows phones helps decrease its reliance on Google Inc.’s Android operating system, used on many of its best-selling devices. Microsoft, meanwhile, is trying to turn the software into a bigger rival to both Android and Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

The ATIV Odyssey has a 4-inch touch-screen and a 1.5-gigahertz processor, and can run on networks that use the speedy long-term evolution standard, Samsung said.

Sprint didn’t give the names of the Samsung or HTC models it was releasing. The carrier ranks third in the U.S. in mobile-phone customers, behind No. 1 Verizon and No. 2 AT&T Inc.

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