Manufacturers offering Windows Mobile 6.5 phones will include Acer, HP, HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba.
Features of the new system software include a revamped version of Internet Explorer Mobile, Flash Lite, the My Phone backup and sync service, and a customisable user interface.
According to Microsoft officials, Windows Mobile 6.5 phones will be available in a variety of form factors from touchscreen to QWERTY.
"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," said Todd Peters, corporate vice president of Microsoft's mobile communications marketing group.
Participating carriers include Telstra and NTT DOCOMO (Asia Pacific); AT&T, Sprint and Verizon (US); Orange and Vodafone (Europe); and TIM Brazil (Latin America).