Feeds

Microsoft to launch incompatible telephone

Inconceivable!

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Comcast exec: No, we haven't banned Tor. I use it. You're probably using it
Keep in mind if, say, your Onion browser craps out on Xfinity
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.