It was eight whole months ago that Nokia announced it would be partnering exclusively with Microsoft to launch Windows Phone 7 handsets. Overnight, the Finnish giant finally showed off its first two handsets running the mobile Windows platform: the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710.

If you liked the look of the N9 but were unsure about MeeGo, the new phones should make you happy.

The Lumia 800, in particular, is essentially an N9 running the latest Mango version of Windows Phone 7. With a curved, 3.7-inch touchscreen, 8MP camera with 720p video recording with dedicated shutter button and a seamless polymer body available in a range of colours, the Lumia 800 is a gorgeous handset, like its predecessor the N9. While some of the specs are slightly different – the screen is slightly lower resolution, and the N9 doesn’t have the camera shutter button – the inspiration is obvious to see.

Powered by a single-core 1.4GHz processor and 512MB RAM, the 800’s most disappointing aspect is the lack of expandable storage, given it only comes with 16GB built-in. Although in truth, that’s a problem with WP7, not Nokia – the operating system doesn’t support expandable memory at the moment.

Alongside the Lumia 800 is the slightly chunkier, slightly lesser specced Lumia 710, which has swappable back covers, a 5MP camera instead of an 8MP one and only 8GB of on board memory.

The downside of the announcement for both these phones is that we won’t be able to buy them in Australia until some time in 2012. In a market where there are multiple Android handsets released every month, this delay could end up hurting both Microsoft and Nokia.