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Motorola details two Microsoft-based phones

Feb 24, 20043 mins
Cellular NetworksMicrosoftUnified Communications

Motorola on Monday announced two smart phones based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile software, delivering on its commitment to Microsoft software for handsets aimed at business professionals.

The telecommunications equipment maker also detailed two handsets for use on 3G mobile phone networks. All of the products were announced at the annual 3GSM World Conference in Cannes.

Motorola announced its first Microsoft-based smartphone, the MPx200, in September of last year. On Monday it added the MPx and MPx 100 handsets to its “MotoPro” product series. Both new handsets are due out in the second half of the year, the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company said in a statement.

The MPx is a dual-hinge clamshell style phone that opens vertically for traditional phone operation and horizontally for use as an e-mail device, Motorola said. It sports a QWERTY keyboard, a 16-bit color touch-screen display with 320 pixel by 240 pixel resolution, integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an SD (Secure Digital)/MMC (Multi Media Card) slot for up to 1G byte of additional memory, Motorola said.

The MPx 100 is a more traditional style phone with integrated Bluetooth, MP3 player and a mini-SD slot for up to 512M-bytes in additional memory. A Wi-Fi adapter and QWERTY keyboard will be available as accessories, Motorola said.

Both tri-band GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) smart phones also come with a 1.3 megapixel camera with flash, infrared support and software to synchronize with Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail client, Motorola said. Details such as pricing, battery life and measurements were not announced.

Motorola is the world’s second largest mobile phone maker in terms of unit shipments after Nokia, according research company Gartner. Its support is seen as important to Microsoft as the software vendor tries to establish itself in the mobile phone market.

Microsoft said at 3GSM that Telecom Italia Mobile plans to ship Windows Mobile-based smart phones later this year, bringing the number of mobile service providers offering Windows Mobile-based phones to 50 worldwide. Microsoft did not specify which devices Telecom Italia Mobile will sell.

More Motorola Windows Mobile-based phones are on the way, a Motorola spokeswoman said. “In targeting the mobile professional, we have selected Microsoft as out core partner. There will be a full series of devices, the MPx and MPx 100 are just the next two,” she said.

The 3G handsets announced by Motorola at 3GSM are the E1000, based on Symbian Ltd. software, and the A1000, based on Motorola’s own Synergy software. The handsets are designed for data intensive applications such as video telephony and include 1.2 megapixel cameras with zoom. Both are due out in the second half of this year, Motorola said. Pricing was not announced.

Microsoft is also using 3GSM to release a white paper about Windows Mobile security, to help enterprise customers use their devices in a secure way. The software maker also announced a deal with Fenestrae to offer hosted messaging products to mobile phone operators.