Motorola-AT&T Phone on Tap

Following its divestiture from Symbian Ltd., Motorola Inc. last week introduced a high-end phone based on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile software.

Following its divestiture from Symbian Ltd., Motorola Inc. last week introduced a high-end phone based on Microsoft Corp.s Windows Mobile software.

The Motorola MPx200 will be released next month by Orange S.A. in Europe. AT&T Wireless Services Inc. plans to release the phone in the United States by the end of the year, according to AT&T Wireless officials, in Redmond, Wash. Pricing for the device will be comparable to that for AT&T Wireless other high-end phones, the officials said.

The MPx200 is a clamshell device that measures 1.88 by 3.5 by 1.06 inches, making it one of the smallest Microsoft-based devices on the market.

As with other Microsoft-based devices, it includes a Pocket Outlook application that synchronizes with the customers desktop Outlook information via a PC connection or wireless synchronization with Microsofts Exchange Server.

The MPx200 runs video via Windows Media Player, Web browsing via Pocket Internet Explorer and instant messaging via MSN Messenger.

The device stores up to 1GB of memory on an expandable memory card. It comes with 32MB of RAM and 32MB of ROM. The battery will last up to 270 minutes of talk time and up to 112 hours on standby, officials said.

This is the first of a series of devices that Motorola and Microsoft are developing and marketing together, according to Microsoft officials, also in Redmond. The announcement of the partnership last week followed Motorolas decision to sell its stake in Symbian earlier this month.

The Symbian operating system competes with the Windows Mobile platform; Nokia Corp. is expected to release several new Symbian phones by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Handspring Inc. this fall will release the highly anticipated Treo 600 smart phone, which runs Palm OS.

"Smart phones are the hot item this year," said Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner Inc., in San Jose, Calif. Gartner estimates smart-phone shipments will reach almost 11 million by the end of the year, with shipments next year reaching almost 19 million.

Earlier this year, Motorola announced that it would focus on phones that support Java and the Linux operating system. Although the company has yet to offer a Linux phone in the United States, officials said the Microsoft partnership will not affect its Linux/Java focus.