Feeds

Microsoft phones coming next week?

Not competing, complementing

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft will launch two feature phones next week, leaving the smartphone market to its licensees in favour of a broader attack on the cellular market.

The news has been rumoured for a while, and an invitation to a press conference on Monday bears out the timing. Also, CNET, claiming inside information, says Microsoft will launch two phones on Monday. Both handsets will come with sliding keypads and touch screens, but neither will have the flexibility or power of Microsoft's flagship smartphone platform.

According to CNET both handsets will be on sale in the US on Verizon's CDMA network within a month, which means the rest of the world will have to wait for a GSM version.

Windows Phone 7 (Microsoft dropped the "Series" moniker last week) and the other smartphones tend to get all the attention. But when it comes to volume the industry is more interested in "feature phones" which can handle an increasingly broad range of content while meeting the criteria of the majority of customers - being a mobile telephone.

Your correspondent recently had cause to use a Motofone for a few months, and enjoyed demonstrating the misapprehension of those who proclaim a desire for a device which is "just a telephone". When presented with something that lacked T9, colour, a camera and even the ability to use a specific case when displaying text, it was fascinating to see people backtrack and explain that when they said "just a telephone" they actually meant a multi-function device with a colour screen, a camera and the ability to play music too - they just didn't want a smartphone.

These are the customers that Microsoft aims to snag with its new handsets - lots of social networking and messaging, but without the capabilities that might step on the toes of manufacturers licensing the Windows Phone 7 platform.

The key difference may well be downloadable applications, although earlier rumours indicated that even these handsets will have access to an application store hosted by Microsoft and populated with .NET and Silverlight content. If true, that could lead to considerable market confusion unless Microsoft finds a way to clearly delineate between the two platforms. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.