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MS smartphone partner Sendo signs Java deal

Knows where its Tao's at

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UK mobile phone company and noted Microsoft partner has Sendo has struck a licensing deal with Tao Group, producer of the intent Java platform and a company in deep with The Other Side." Tao is friends with Sun, Psion, numerous other usual suspects and - oh yes - Amiga, and intent is an application runtime environment compliant with Sun's J2ME (Java 2, Micro Edition) mobile phone spec.

Sendo proposes to use the licence to implement intent on its Z100 smartphone, which runs Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 software.The move however probably shouldn't be characterised as either a Trojan Horse or a great betrayal.

Network operators, according to the Sendo announcement, are "looking at Java to differentiate their services and offer personalised applications to their customers." The Register would put it rather more strongly than that - in many cases, network operators are pretty close to betting the farm on Java, in the expectation that personalised multimedia services will provide them with a route to the sort of revenue increases they need in order to pay for their 3G licences.

Sendo, meanwhile, might be a nice enough company but it's not what you'd call a big name cachet brand as yet, so it's got to work hard to do high volume deals with network operators. Who are - yes you guessed - going to be wanting large volumes of Java-enabled mobile phones to support their services rollouts.

Phones could therefore turn out to be the area where Sun unequivocally manages to turn Java into the standard, and where Microsoft will be unable to resist. If that is the case, then the new entrants Microsoft is trying to encourage with its phone reference designs should start to sign up fairly quickly. ®

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