These are the first photos of Microsoft's Project Pink phones, snatched from deep within the bowels of the Microsoft/Verizon industrio-complex —not the Turtle, but the larger, Sidekick-like Pure. This doesn't look like Windows Phone 7, so what is it?
The shots come just hours after a leaked advertising campaign for the Turtle outed Verizon as a carrier for the Pink Turtle, without so much as a mention of the Pure.
Our tipster confirms the Pure is also headed to Verizon, but doesn't have a release date. (Though it's hard to imagine the release date would fall too far out of line with the Turtle, which is expected to hit stores at the end of April.) Anyway, this thing: It's strange! The paneled interface, with fixed squares for everything from music (with Zune typography) and email to RSS feeds and what looks like a unified social networking hub. As hinted earlier, the aesthetic is similar Windows Phone 7, but the software is distinctly not Windows Phone 7. This looks like Windows Phone 7: Feature Phone edition.
Our source got a few seconds to use the Pure, and said it was intuitive, "better than Android," and decorated with Windows Phone 7-style animations throughout. That said, the app situation still doesn't add up. There's apparently an download screen for new apps, but it's not populated with anything yet. This could mean two things: Either the Pink phones will tap into the Windows Phone 7 marketplace somehow, which would be great (but also doesn't make sense), or they'll have apps like the Zune has apps—which is to say, only sort of, and only from selected partners.
The more we see, the more the Pure and Turtle look like they're stacking up to be Zune-ified followups to the Sidekick. It's an interesting move, but who does Microsoft think they're going to sell this thing to? Tweens?

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