Microsoft Corp., working to establish itself in the wireless world, is busy forging partnerships with chip makers and carriers.
Last week, the Redmond, Wash., company and silicon manufacturer ARM Ltd. announced that Motorola Inc., STMicroelectronics N.V. and NeoMagic Corp. will develop ARM-based processors optimized for Microsofts Windows CE .Net platform for mobile devices.
The processors, due by years end, include the Motorola DragonBall processor, currently prevalent in devices that run Palm Inc.s Palm OS.
These companies join such other businesses as Hynix Semiconductor Inc., Intel Corp., Samsung Electronics America Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc., which already build ARM-based processors that support Windows CE.
"Previously, the bar was a little bit higher, and now weve opened up the CE licensees to all ARM providers," said Debby Fry Wilson, a director in Microsofts Embedded and Appliance Platform Group. "There were licensing and development costs, and now were inviting all ARM licensees to participate in Windows CE for free."
Meanwhile, at the DemoMobile conference in La Jolla, Calif., Microsoft and AT&T Wireless Services Inc. introduced Microsoft Enterprise Location Server, which combines location- based services from the carrier with Web-based mapping software from Microsoft.
The software should be available in the first quarter of next year, AT&T Wireless officials said.