Microsoft has announced a series of alliances with leading wireless device suppliers at the annual 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, including a Windows-powered smartphone.
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Microsoft will demonstrate latest hardware designs for future Windows-powered pocket PCs and Smartphones at 3GSM. A Windows-powered smartphone design, jointly developed with chip giant Intel, will be made available to industry partners including Samsung and Wistrom.
Mobile phone operator T-Mobile will offer customers Smartphones with access to Microsoft's online consumer portal service, MSN, by the summer.
The announcements signalled Microsoft's determination to bolster its presence in the competitive wireless device market, which will receive a major boost when third-generation (3G) network technology finally hits the market.
"We have before us the extraordinary opportunity to transform how people communicate, and it requires profound commitment and collaboration from all of us in the wireless industry to realise this dream," said Juha Christensen, corporate vice-president of the mobile devices marketing group at Microsoft.
"At Microsoft, we believe smart, customisable software based on industry standards, coupled with powerful devices and increased connectivity, will bring about a new era of wireless use that benefits all members of the wireless ecosystem and our customers."
Analysts said that companies were beginning to use wireless devices for cut-down employee e-mail, but added that Microsoft faced fierce competition from established mobile device handset and software suppliers such as Nokia and Symbian.