Buzz Grows for Microsofts Mobile Magneto

Gates is expected to reveal details about the new mobile operating system, which is poised to challenge BlackBerry.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is expected to release the details of the companys new mobile OS, code-named Magneto, during his keynote speech Tuesday at the Mobile & Embedded Developers Conference in Las Vegas.

Details on Magneto have been scarce up to this point, but details on what many have called Microsofts "BlackBerry killer" have been leaked to several sources around the Web. The operating system will, essentially, combine the Smartphone, Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition into one platform.

According to, the biggest changes in the new operating system, rumored to be called Windows Mobile 2005, will be an interface redesign that allows for single-handed control of the device, the ability to add photos and personalized melodies to contacts in Pocket Outlook, a revamped and renamed Office Mobile (with Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and the new PowerPoint Mobile Viewer) and built-in drivers for GPA and camera functionality.

As for new Bluetooth capabilities, (which subsequently pulled the page from the site) reported that the operating system will provide a "more consistent and easier way to configure with ActiveSync over Bluetooth."

The article also mentioned the addition of Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, which will work hand-in-hand with Windows Media Player 10.

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Microsoft will also release Windows Mobile 5 Software Development Kit, requiring Visual Studio .Net 2005 for installation, Geekzone reported. Developers will also have access to stand-alone emulators, allowing users to run a Windows virtual machine on their own computers without any additional software. The emulator will support Pocket PC QVGA resolution, high resolution and Smartphone.

Forward Concepts Principle Analyst Will Strauss says he expects the Gates speech to be chock-full of information about new functionality, though nothing on how the new operating system will affect the batteries in mobile devices. "Battery life is something people are concerned about," he said.

As for Magneto being a threat to BlackBerry, Strauss said, "BlackBerry is more than an OS; it has a whole infrastructure that goes with it, and allows companies to have their own private e-mail systems. Id hesitate to call it a BlackBerry killer."

/zimages/4/28571.gifRead more here about the potential rivalry between BlackBerry and "Magneto."

Microsoft has worked diligently to keep details hush-hush, sending cease and desist letters to electronics Weblog, Windows fan site and, a smart-phone information site.

Many other third-party analysts are also staying tight-lipped, citing an embargo that will last until Tuesday when the system will most likely be announced.

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