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Barcelona pickpocket swipes Microsoft secrets?

Phone with unreleased software gone bye-bye

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MWC An unnamed Telstra executive is one Windows Mobile phone lighter this afternoon, thanks to a Barcelona pickpocket. Which would hardly be news were it not for the fact that this particular phone featured an as-yet-unreleased version of Microsoft's mobile offering.

The phone was given to Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo to show off to his executive pals on the golf course test the interface, and is apparently one of HTC's latest models. Pickpockets are endemic in Barcelona during the congress, and with fewer attendees they're having to work extra hard to pick a pocket or two this year. So one of them seems to have struck it lucky with the unnamed executive charged with looking after the handset.

The news comes from the Herald Sun, and is reported with typical Antipodean restraint. We're still trying to track down a representative from the company for comment, but the Herald points out that even journalists haven’t had a chance to use the "hush hush" interface of Windows 6.5, and brings in an "industrial espionage expert" who suggests this could hit Microsoft's share price.

In reality the "secret" software is most likely the new shell that Telstra will launch on Windows Mobile 6.1 devices - the majority of which is available as a free download from the developer's site - but even if the scallywag has managed to get an early version of 6.5, it's hard to believe any of Microsoft's competitors would be interested in getting hold of it. Still, Telstra's competition might enjoy the ridicule potential if they can track down the thief. ®

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