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October 5, 2009

Microsoft unveils Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones

Also offers Windows Marketplace for Mobile and My Phone service

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has unveiled a new line of Windows phones that run on its Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, in a move which could strengthen its position in the mobile phone market.

The company said that the new Windows phone with Mobile 6.5 operating system, provides users an enhanced Windows Live experience and improved Windows Live photo sharing across major social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Flickr. It comes with Internet Explorer Mobile 6, and includes an updated user interface and flash lite for viewing video and animation content.

Microsoft has entered into partnership with many operators to launch the new handsets made by different manufacturers. Operators to offer Windows Mobile 6.5 phones include AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless in the US; T-Mobile, O2, Vodafone and Orange in the UK; and China Unicom and Telstra in Asia. It expects partners to deliver more than 30 new phones in more than 20 countries by the end of 2009.

Microsoft is also launching its application store Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and My Phone service. Windows Marketplace for Mobile allows users to find and purchase mobile applications. Initially, it has put 246 mobile applications in Windows Marketplace, with more than 753 ISVs worldwide on board to continue building out the catalogue.

The My Phone service helps users to manage and back up information stored on their phone. It automatically synchronises the specific type of a phone’s content from contacts and appointments to texts, photos and more. It also allows users to publish their photos from the My Phone web site or their phone directly to Windows Live, Facebook, MySpace and Flickr, the company said.

Reportedly, the My Phone Premium package includes the ability to locate the phone’s current location on a map (in the US only); remotely lock a phone and post an ‘if found’ message to its screen; ring the phone even if it is set to vibrate or silent mode; and also erase the phone to protect personal data.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said: “We all want to connect quickly to the people and information that’s important to us from across our lives at work and at home. A Windows phone lets people take their entire world of digital information, communications, applications and entertainment with them wherever they go.”

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