Microsoft Increases Focus on Portable Computers

The company is working to connect its Windows and Windows Mobile operating systems, and is trotting out a new marketing campaign for notebooks.

SEATTLE—Microsoft has renewed its interest in mobile computing.

The software giant, which earlier in 2006 introduced its Ultra-Mobile PC, formerly code-named Origami, has created a new mobile marketing group with rising executive Mika Krammer as its director, and is working to synchronize not only what it says about its two mobile operating systems—Windows and Windows Mobile—but also the way they work together.

Mobility, whether in the form of notebook PCs or smart phones, represents a rapidly expanding market, so Microsoft is paying more attention to it and working to better integrate its various marketing efforts focused on the space.

For example, it will build its tablet PC software, including touch-screen capabilities, new attributions designed to streamline data synchronization between Windows notebooks and Windows Mobile-based phones, into Windows Vista.

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"Were working on creating a common message that you can draft off of," Krammer said to attendees of a WinHEC session, many of whom were from PC makers.

To that end, the company has identified a number of market categories it aims to address, including the near-pocket-sized UMPCs, ultraportable notebooks and full-sized notebooks.

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The Vista marketing effort for notebooks, aimed at both consumers and businesses, will revolve around a series of themes, such as getting work done from anywhere, staying in touch, collaboration between individuals and reducing IT management costs.

The "staying in touch" theme involves tying together communications capabilities inherent in Vista with add-ons such as WWAN (wireless WAN), Krammer said.

Meanwhile, for the "collaboration" theme, Microsoft will emphasize Vista features such as MeetingSpace, which allows notebook users to use Wi-Fi radios to connect their PCs and share files or stream presentations, allowing them to collaborate on the fly.

"What were doing, here, is were focusing on these elements because … really that is what the market told us was most important to them," Krammer said.

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