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Mon 26 Feb 2001 04:00 AM

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Microsoft storms the handset market

In a bid to break into the mobile phone market Microsoft Corporation has teamed up with Sendo to release the Z100 Multimedia Smartphon, the first Tri-Band GPRS mobile handset.

In a recent unveiling, Microsoft Corporation and British based Sendo, demonstrated the first working colour prototype of the Z100 Smartphone.

Sendo entered the handset market early last year selecting Microsoft’s Smartphone platform as a base for its development. “As a growing presence in the mobile industry, we needed a Smartphone platform that could provide a competitive edge and also allow us to enter the market quickly,” explained Hugh Brogan, Sendo’s CEO.

The Microsoft platform in question, the ‘Stinger’, is said to set new standards for Smartphone size and functionality. Taking advantage of the 2.5G and 3G broadband wireless networks, the ‘stinger’ will offer secure corporate data, Web access, e-mail and the latest in PIM (personal information management) on mobile phones. “This announcement is very significant to the development of wireless data services markets worldwide,” predicts Neil Ward-Dutton, principle consultant at Ovum.

“The worlds largest software company is starting to put its new Smartphone platform in the hands of the innovators. Winning wireless data strategies requires bridging the worlds of commercial software and telecommunications and this announcement shows that Microsoft and Sendo are playing the right card game,” added Ward-Dutton.

“The ‘Stinger’ platform enabled us to focus our resources on our expertise in handset design, allowing us to develop the Z100 in a relatively short time,” added Brogan.

The handset is boasted as being the smallest and lightest GPRS tri-band Smartphone, featuring an impressive 65,000 colour TFT display.

“Together with Sendo, we’ve done what people said couldn’t be done – deliver the mobile Internet in a small light device,” said Ben Waldman, vice president of the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft.

The Sendo Z100 Smartphone is expected to be widely available in Q4 2001.

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