View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
February 8, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp, whose software has been shunned by the most powerful makers of mobile communication devices, has decided instead to line up with some powerful customers. It has formed an alliance with British Telecommunications Plc to develop worldwide internet, intranet and corporate data services. The new services will be developed and marketed worldwide by BT and Microsoft and offered by Concert Communications, which operates in over 50 countries and in which AT&T Corp will have a 50% stake. The move is a challenge to Symbian Ltd, the alliance formed by Psion Plc in which LM Ericsson Telefon AB, Nokia Oy and Motorola Corp are partners. Japanese giant Sony is also rumored to be considering joining the consortium. In 1998, Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates branded Psion a threat in a leaked memo called The Era Ahead which said that the Symbian alliance was strong competition for the Windows CE operating system. Trials on the new devices are due to begin in the UK in the next few months and services are expected to become available in several countries by early 2000. Under the deal, BT will says it will accelerate the development of internet standards-based wireless services by selected Microsoft’s microbrowser technology for manufacturers’ handsets. BT and Microsoft also promised to work together to drive development of future CE based wireless products. Microsoft has been frantic to avoid being left on the sidelines when wireless access to the internet takes off and the BT deal gives it access to mobile networks serving 13 million customers in 10 countries. BT and Microsoft also plan to develop NT-based data centers and Microsoft’s Exchange Server will provide the core of the wireless email and data services offered by BT and Concert. The data centers are designed to support access from a broad range of devices including smart phones, four line digital phones, pagers, CE-based handheld and palm PCs and Windows-based desktop and laptop computers. Up until now, Microsoft’s only hope of progress in the mobile market lay in the alliance it formed last year with cellular phone vendor Qualcomm Inc (CI No 3532).

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.