Microsoft Wireless Rumors Unfounded

MS officials refuted rumors that all major U.S. and European mobile operators would soon support Pocket PC Phone Edition or Smartphone 2002.

NEW YORK -- Reports of the ubiquity of Microsoft Corp.s wireless operating systems have been greatly exaggerated, company officials acknowledged on Monday.

"Its great news if its happening," said Ed Suwanjindar, product manager of Microsofts Mobility Group in Redmond, Wash., referring to a widely circulated article today that stated "all major mobile operators in Europe and the United States" would be supporting either Pocket PC Phone Edition or Smartphone 2002 within the next 12 months.

He hastened to add that support for the two operating systems is progressing nicely.

Voicestream Wireless is offering the Audiovox Thera Pocket PC device this summer.

On the Smartphone side, Verizon Wireless has plans to offer a device, but hasnt said which one. Cingular Wireless plans to offer a Smartphone 2002 device from Sendo. These wont be available for several months, however.

"This year if were lucky," Suwanjindar said.

Microsoft has had good luck establishing licensees for its Pocket PC platform, but so far Sendo of the UK, HTC of Taiwan and Samsung have committed to building Smartphone devices.

Motorola Corp., Ericsson AB and Nokia Corp. are tough sells when it comes to Smartphone because they all support, to some extent, the competing Symbian operating system.

Suwanjindar said Microsoft continues to target these major players, though.

"Id list all of them as a possibility except Nokia," he said. "They seem to have their own software ambition.