Alliances to Upgrade Their Smart-Phone Applications

Microsoft and T-Mobile, among others, are partnering to improve their smart-phone apps.

The maturation of smart phones is in evidence, with major vendors earlier this month announcing cooperative efforts to improve multimedia messaging and business-focused applications.

Microsoft Corp., of Redmond, Wash., and T-Mobile International AG, in Bonn, Germany, will launch the Pocket MSN service over Pocket PCs throughout Europe this year, and later this summer, T-Mobile will deploy Windows-powered smart phones in major European cities.

The service will extend MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger mobile services to European markets.

Meanwhile, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB announced that IBM Global Services has agreed to use Sony Ericssons P800 smart phone to help enterprises extend wireless e-business solutions. Applications suited for this infrastructure include sales force automation for order management, stock control and travel.

Katsumi Ihara, president of Sony Ericsson, said an open, flexible platform will be needed in the mobile industry to encourage application developers to create more exciting services. "Many businesses will demand a more customized mobile solution," Ihara said, adding that systems integrators will play a critical role in bringing all components of a mobile solution together.

In a boost to usability, Sony Ericsson is incorporating QuickShare into handsets to make messaging and sharing images among the phone, PC, camcorder and other devices easy and intuitive. Specifically for business users, the London-based company is making available a GC82 EDGE, or Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution, PC Card for dual-band Global System for Mobile Communications networks in North America to provide fast access to corporate intranets and the Internet.

In the second half of this year, Sony Ericsson will launch its first dual-mode, General Packet Radio Service/United Mobile Telecommunications Service video handset, called the Z1010. It will include two built-in cameras, video telephony capability and high-speed network access. The product is aimed at the consumer market.

Calling their initiative with T-Mobile "one of the biggest milestones for us," Juha Christensen, vice president of Microsofts Mobile Devices Division, said the smart phone will offer "extremely good services that really enchant the user."

Most Recent Wireless Stories:

Search for more stories by Caron Carlson.