Orange launches first Microsoft Smartphone

Orange has become one of the first companies to release a mobile phone based on Microsoft's Smartphone specification, writes Eric...

Orange has become one of the first companies to release a mobile phone based on Microsoft's Smartphone specification, writes Eric Doyle.

The Orange phone, known simply as the SPV, was designed and manufactured by Taiwanese original device manufacturer High Tech Computer - the company that developed the highly successful iPaq Pocket PC for Compaq.

The Smartphone operating system that powers the handset turns the phone into a small handheld computer capable of browsing the Web, sending and receiving e-mails and accessing the Microsoft Messenger instant messaging service - as well as allowing calls to be made over the tri-band GSM phone.

With such features, the phone will make heavy use of data links and has been designed to take advantage of higher speed GPRS networks where available. It also offers direct compatibility with Microsoft Outlook's e-mail manager.

This is the first attempt by Microsoft to capture a share of the burgeoning phone PDA market and it faces stiff competition from the Symbian operating system favoured by mobile phone giants Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

Like current and planned models from these competitors, the Orange SPV has a larger colour LCD screen than normal, measuring 66mm diagonally. This allows the phone to support a version of Microsoft Media Player so images and video clips can be viewed.

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