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Snubbed by the phone industry giants, Microsoft is increasing its investment in the tiny British handset manufacturer Sendo.

Sendo, which already makes quite dinky cheap and cheerful GSM phones, will offer the Z100 GPRS phone running the Beast's Stinger platform towards the end of this year, or early next year. That's promised to be a triband handset using Microsoft's HTML browser.

With the major vendors including Nokia, 'Ericssony' (the alliance of Sony and Ericsson, you'll have guessed) Motorola and Panasonic opting instead for the Symbian EPOC OS, the Beast has been obliged to shop its platform around the industry minnows - with Mitsubishi, Sagem and Sendo so far taking the bait. After an unhappy time with Windows producing a the Orange videophone, Siemens has since joined the Symbian camp too. ®

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