Microsoft, T-Mobile to Deploy Pocket MSN in Europe

Microsoft and T-Mobile will launch Pocket MSN service over Pocket PCs throughout Europe, and T-Mobile will deploy Smartphones in major European cities.

CANNES, France—Microsoft Corp. and T-Mobile International will launch Pocket MSN service over Pocket PCs throughout Europe, and later this summer T-Mobile will deploy Windows-powered Smartphones in major European cities.

The companies announced the cooperative efforts at the 3GSM World Congress here Monday. The service will extend MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger mobile services to European markets.

Calling the initiative with T-Mobile "one of the biggest milestones for us," Juha Christensen, vice president of Microsofts Mobile Devices Division, said the Smartphone will have "great SMS capability," a robust design and a vibrant screen. The device will offer "extremely good services that really enchant the end user," Christensen said in a keynote address at the congress.

Microsoft is working closely with numerous wireless operators to boost the role of data in mobile services. "We are all about putting the mobile operators at the center of what we do," Christensen said.

Monday, the company announced that Orange S.A. will be the first carrier to operate Microsofts Mobile2Market initiative, which helps carriers quickly offer a range of applications to customers. Mobile2Market is designed to help operators differentiate their services and provide focused services to target markets, said Ed Suwanjindar, lead product manager at Microsofts Mobile Devices Division.

With Mobile2Market, operators will be able to offer business users a means of quickly and easily reviewing Powerpoint slides on their mobile handsets, in addition to checking e-mail, using mapping technologies and playing video games.

The Redmond, Wash., software maker is also working closely with Texas Instruments Inc. and Intel Corp. to reduce the time to market of mobile handsets. This week, Microsoft unveiled its latest "concept design," from which handset manufacturers can build devices. Calling the initiative a move toward "the democratization of handset manufacturing," Christensen said the "concept design" allows vendors to begin building a device from scratch within six months.

Samsung Electronics will soon unveil a new triband GPRS Pocket PC, with a camera that swivels 180 degrees, Christensen said Monday.