Microsoft's MWC digs come together, 'Ready, Set' is the theme (and Steve Ballmer's hosting)

The fine city of Barcelona is abuzz this week as final preparations for Mobile World Congress fall into place -- and as you probably know by now, we're all expecting Microsoft to pull out all of the stops to introduce Windows Mobile 7. Just like last year, Redmond is renting out the Catalonia Barcelona Plaza Hotel across the street from the convention center to help kick off its announcements in style, and reader Javier has been kind enough to send in some shots of the facility getting done up in Microsoft livery for the event. There aren't any spoilers here, sadly, but we can see that the company's "Windows Phone" branding figures prominently (we should hope as much) and they're using the catchphrase "Ready. Set." to get everyone fired up. You might say the "wow" starts now -- or, you know, you might not. Either way, be sure to keep it tuned right here throughout next week's festivities, because we'll be bringing you tons of coverage live!

If you're as curious as we are about Microsoft's plans, here's when the event (which you can bet your bottom euro we'll be liveblogging) kicks off on Monday, February 15:

03:00AM - Hawaii
06:00AM - Pacific
07:00AM - Mountain
08:00AM - Central
09:00AM - Eastern
02:00PM - London
03:00PM - Paris
11:00PM - Tokyo

[Thanks, Javier M.]

Update: We've gotten email confirmation from Microsoft today that none other than the head honcho, Steve Ballmer, will be hosting the press conference -- which means we need roughly 20 percent less coffee before showing up than we would otherwise.