New models will appear in Europe in October, before rolling out to USA and Korea

LG is looking to Windows Phone 7 to boost its position in the smartphone market, where it currently lags behind Korean rival Samsung.

The company will strengthen its offering by becoming the first manufacturer to launch handsets running Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system, starting with European models due in the shops in October.

Reports from Korea say that LG will launch its WP7 smartphones as part of its Optimus line-up, ahead of offerings from the likes of Samsung and HTC.

Models for Europe will have a 3.8in touchscreen, while those appearing in the States a month later will also have a 'hard' QWERTY keyboard. The phones are not due on sale back home in Korea until early next year.

The launch will mean the Optimus line-up will have phones running WP7, others running Google's Android, and also tablet PCs, the company believing that the Microsoft OS could be as important in the smartphone market as Android and Apple's iOS.

More after the break

The company told Korean reporters it expects WP7 to outperform the two rival smartphone operating systems, as well as giving users compatibility with existing Microsoft Office programs such as Word and Excel.

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