Feeds

Microsoft to launch incompatible telephone

Inconceivable!

Seven Steps to Software Security

Microsoft will be launching a feature phone with Verizon Wireless in the US, based on Windows CE but not compatible with the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 Series.

Rumours of a Microsoft feature phone have been knocking around for a while. It was codenamed "pink" and supposedly built to replace the venerable Sidekick using the skills Microsoft acquired when it bought the previous owner, Danger. But now Gizmodo has photographs and technical details of two handsets to be launched in July on Verizon, proving that Microsoft has eyes on much more than the smart phone market.

Even from the scant details available it's clear that neither handset is Windows Phone 7 Series - despite having lots of social networking hooks and the ability to download applications. Those applications will be developed using .NET, but without the feature set of 7 Series, and probably only in partnership with Microsoft.

According to tips received by Gizmodo the two handsets, both of which feature the sliding keyboards so beloved by Americans, are based on Windows CE but with a different graphical layer and fewer features than 7 Series. They are also CDMA devices, which realistically limits them to the US at launch, though a GSM variant is always possible. The handsets clearly don't conform to the physical requirements for a 7 Series phone, and are unlikely to be as highly-specified.

It shouldn't really come as a surprise that Microsoft is paying attention to the "feature phone" end of the market - that's where everyone else is looking these days. Samsung's Bada is aimed squarely at providing downloadable applications to feature phones, and Qualcomm's BREW is being reinvented as the solution to that problem too, not to mention that it's where Symbian is hoping to make its new home now that MeeGo has moved in upstairs.

The problem for Bada is that for the moment it needs the same processing power as a smart phone, while Symbian and BREW are much more suited to that market. Microsoft's ability to do things with limited resources is somewhat patchy. The company has generally preferred to wait for the hardware to get cheap enough for its software, but this time it's Apple that's depending on the trickle-down effect while Microsoft attempts to fit a quart into a pint pot. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.