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Microsoft gears up for wireless

'Stinger' technology for smart phones

Microsoft is putting some sting into its wireless plans. New technology dubbed 'Stinger' will essentially be the software framework for Internet-enabled smart phones.

The software giant, of course, hopes Stinger will become as ubiquitous as Windows.

At the moment, there's only a prototype of a Stinger device, previewed by Microsoft representatives yesteraday.

It has a large colour screen to display text and images, and a Web browser. Its other built-in applications are a mobile version of Microsoft Outlook, a calendar, and a contacts list.

The goal is a device that includes functions of a personal digital assistant but is still primarily a mobile phone, says Ben Waldman, Microsoft vice president in charge of Pocket PC and wireless applications.

The mobile version of Outlook will enable users to synchronise the exchange of their personal data between mobile devices and servers, he adds.

Microsoft will offer Stinger to handset manufacturers, who will use the specifications to build smart phones, in a similar way to how Pocket PC provided an outline for building personal digital assistants.

Samsung Electronics will use Stinger to create a smart phone for release next year, Microsoft says.


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