T-Mobile begins offering Microsoft smartphone

Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile will begin selling a smartphone in Europe running Microsoft's Windows Mobile software for...

Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile will begin selling a smartphone in Europe running Microsoft's  Windows Mobile software for less than €100 (£68) when purchased with a service contract.

Dubbed Smart Digital Assistant (SDA), the tri-band phone will be available in Germany in early October, with plans to roll it out in other European countries where T-Mobile operates such as the UK, the Netherlands, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria.

The phone will probably be launched in the US as well, although that decision has not yet been finalised, T-Mobile spokesman in Germany Husam Azrak said.

This is the first time T-Mobile has launched a smartphone running Microsoft software and it comes as Microsoft is looking to establish itself more firmly in the mobile market. Partnerships with large European operators are seen as particularly important, given the popularity of the Symbian mobile operating system in the region.

The SDA includes a built-in camera and Bluetooth, weighs 100g and boasts a 65,000-colour screen, Azrak said. The battery lasts for 240 minutes of talk time, or 200 hours on standby, and the phone supports a memory card, he said.

The Windows Mobile software offers users calendar, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint functions, has a PDF (Portable Document Format) reader and syncs with Outlook e-mail, Azrak said.

The phone is priced at €269.95 without a contract.

Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service

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