Feeds

Microsoft to launch incompatible telephone

Inconceivable!

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.