Microsoft today unveiled CSS (Connected Services Sandbox). The service offers developers the tools and support needed to produce web-based applications for mobile phones. These combine APIs (application programming interfaces) from different sources with telecommunication services.

Microsoft’s CSS was established to help developers produce applications for mobile devices, allowing operators to offer "mashups" - internet applications that combine services from different sources - to mobile handsets.

Mashups created using Connected Services Sandbox can help generate sources of revenue for operators, while also helping to attract subscribers and retain existing users, Microsoft said. The company unveiled the service, which is based on its Connected Services Framework, at the ITU's (International Telecommunication Union's) Telecom World 2006 conference and exhibition in Hong Kong.

Developers can access a range of services on the CSS website, including Windows Live components and offerings from Google, eBay and Amazon.com, Yahoo. Other services that are available for Connected Services Framework include offerings from Xbox Live, Microsoft TV, Microsoft FlexGo, and Microsoft Solution for Enhanced VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) services, among others.

In addition, Microsoft Connected Services Framework and other tools are available for download from CSS, Microsoft said.

Telecom World runs through Friday, 8 December.