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February 19, 2009

Microsoft Reveals New Windows Phones

By Jai C.S., TMCnet Contributing Editor

Microsoft Corp, a global provider of software, services and solutions, has launched its new Windows phones based on Windows Mobile 6.5 and featuring a new user interface and a richer browsing experience.

The announcement was made by Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft (News - Alert) Corp. along with key mobile partners, HTC, LG and Orange at the Mobile World Congress 2009.
"Windows phones bring together the best of the Web, the PC and the phone so you can connect instantly to the experiences you care about, no matter where you are," said Ballmer.
"We're working with partners across the industry to deliver a new generation of Windows phones that break down the barriers between people, information and applications and provide great end- to-end experiences that span your entire life, at work and at home."
The new phone comes with more service including; My Phone, which allows users to synchronize text messages, photos, video, contacts and more to the Web; and Windows Marketplace for Mobile, that offers direct-to-phone mobile applications with the ability to access from both the phone and the Web.
According to the company, the new Windows Mobile 6.5 home screen offers a dashboard-like experience to items such as new e-mails, texts, missed calls and calendar appointments. Moreover, it includes an improved touch-screen interface and an updated version of the latest Internet Explorer Mobile browser.
The free My Phone service comes with automatic syncing and backup, which allows users to count on their contacts, appointments, text messages and other information being kept up to date and to easily restore them in case of any loss or while upgrading their phone.
Apart from this, the service also allows consumers to automatically upload photos and video from their Windows phone directly to the My Phone service. The service is currently available in a limited invitation-only beta.
Ballmer also mentioned that developers, who have already built over 20,000 applications for Windows phones, will be able to offer applications to customers through the marketplace via a simple security and compatibility check from Microsoft.
At the conference, Microsoft’s reputed global mobile partners revealed some of the first Windows phones showcasing the new operating system. Orange said that the company is updating its portfolio to offer new Windows phones. Additionally, LG also revealed that it will add a Windows Mobile 6.5 version to its series supporting Windows Mobile 6.1.
Apart from this announcement, the company also announced Microsoft Recite, a voice search technology for Windows phones version 6.0 or later, which provides users with a fast and simple way to capture, search and retrieve spoken notes and reminders using just their voice without the need to navigate menus or type text.
Soon the company will also launch their enhanced Windows 7 for which its partners have already announced their support. Some of the added features will include simple and reliable means to connect to the Internet, as well as a common infrastructure for partners to build on to create new, high-value mobile services.
Partners announcing integration with the Windows 7 native mobile broadband include Acer (News - Alert), Asus, Birdstep Technology, Dell, Ericsson, HP, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Huawei Communications Technologies, Option, Qualcomm, Sierra Wireless, Smith Micro (News - Alert), T-Mobile International and ZTE.

Jai C.S. is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Jai's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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