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The power of three

Microsoft, Orange and Motorola to offer Windows-based phones

Motorola has joined forces with Microsoft for Orange's UK launch of Motorola's MPx200, based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 2003 Smartphone software.

Mobile operator Orange will distribute the phone for use on its UK network from October.

Orange has worked with Motorola to customise the phone to its own needs, according to Stuart Jackson, Orange's corporate communications manager. Like the SPV it comes branded with the Orange logo, has an Orange user interface and offers services such as Orange Backup, where users can store their data on the Orange network in case of problems with their phone.

The MPx200, based on a clamshell design, allows users to surf the internet, access their emails and synchronise the phone with their PC. It includes an SD slot with a 16MB memory card (a 2GB card is available), an external speaker for listening to MP3 and Windows Media files and can play videos using Windows Media Player. A detachable camera is available separately. It will cost £239.99 with an Orange contract.

Motorola and Microsoft plan to jointly develop a series of Smartphone and Pocket PC products, including a PDA (personal digital assistant). These will be made available internationally once partner operators are found, said Jackson.

Orange has sold 100,000 SPV Smartphones in Europe. However, it's not the number of units so much as use that counts, and the revenue from data services has been high, he said.

"The average user is accessing the internet five times a day; 60 percent use it to get their email and 85 percent have synched it with their PC. So people are really using them," claims Jackson.

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