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Sendo junks MS smartphone, joins Nokia camp

Joins Nokia Series 60 club

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Ouch! Microsoft got a kick in the teeth today from one of its few Smartphone allies. Sendo, the UK handset maker, today announced that it's stopping all development on the Windows for Smartphone 2002 platform. It is instead signing a licence for Series 60, the Nokia smartphone platform erected upon the Symbian OS.

This is a blow for Microsoft - Sendo was supposed to launch its Z100 MS 'Stinger' handset this month into Spain and Italy. There must also be a question mark over the $12m that Microsoft has invested in Sendo, set up in 2000 by three former Philips execs.

So why is Sendo swapping horses mid-race? In a statement, Sendo chief exec Hugh Brogan, said the company conducted a review of its smart phone strategy in early fall. The conclusion was that the "Series 60 fully embraces both our mission and the new strategy".

The buzz-words for Series 60 are interoperability and open and common standards. The handset firms it appears prefer to sup with Nokia than with the Beast.

Marijke van Hooren, Sendo director of communications, declined to answer our questions as to why the company is scrapping the Z100, just days away from launch, citing legal reasons. But she said this:"If we had a choice we would have launched the Z100 - we have customers, we have handsets out there with journalists, we were days away from shipping - but we had no other course of action."

A Sendo Series 60-based Smartphone will -"realistically" - launch in the second half of 2003, she said. ®

Related links/stories

Nokia press release
Sendo to launch Z100 MS 'Stinger' in November
Orange to launch MS Smartphone in UK
Sendo ships self-destructing Stinker phone SDK
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MS: our phone software might not be good enough
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The MS plan for smartphones: Get Nokia!
Ballmer takes charge of MS Phone biz
Can Club Nokia thwart .NET?
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Stinger: The Sneak Preview [stone tablets edition - Aug2001]
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