Sony Ericsson announces new handset with Windows Mobile OS
Sony Ericsson on Sunday announced a new premium handset Xperia X1 which is powered by Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system. The Xperia X1 will launch in the second half of 2008 and will be sold worldwide, including in the United States. The handset features an arc sliding mechanism with a 3-inch-wide (8-centimeter-wide) DVD-quality video display, a full keyboard alongside a touchscreen and optical device for navigation.
It is the first time Sony Ericsson is using Microsoft Windows Mobile in a departure from its collaboration with Symbian, an open operating system that is partly owned by Sony Ericsson.
Sony Ericsson executive Steve Walker said Microsoft Mobile was the “ideal” platform for the X1.
“In the case of the X1, Microsoft gives us an opportunity to build on,” Walker said. But he said that did not necessarily mean that subsequent handsets in the Xperia sub-brand would be based on Microsoft.
The partnership was announced on the eve of the Mobile World Congress, the largest wireless industry conference bringing together more than 50,000 industry executives from some 1,300 companies.
“With Sony Ericsson we are now working with the top five handset makers around the world,” Microsoft product manager John Starkweather said in an interview before the Barcelona wireless conference.
Samsung, Motorola Inc., and LG all ship cell phones with Microsoft Mobile, while Nokia, the largest handset maker by volume, incorporates some Microsoft technology, including Windows Media Player.
Sony Ericsson executives declined to give pricing on the handset, except to say that it would be at a premium mobile phone, or to say how many models it plans to ship.
Microsoft expects to ship 20 million new phones using Windows Mobile in the fiscal year that ends June 30, Starkweather said.
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