Microsoft Smartphone deals out a pack of games

Microsoft and Sendo, the UK-based makers of the upcoming Z100 smartphone, have unveiled the first applications for the long-awaited device. Games are seen as key to the platform's success

Microsoft is giving the first glimpse of the applications for its Smartphone 2002 handset at the Microsoft Mobility Developer Conference in London this week, with a heavy focus on gaming.

Sendo, which is manufacturing the Z100, the first Smartphone 2002-based device, on Tuesday announced a wide range of games for the device, as well as productivity applications. Sendo also said it will sell a foldable keyboard for data entry.

Several publishers will provide games for the Z100 at launch or shortly after, Sendo said. Versaly will provide "The Untouchables Pin Ball", Mobile Scope will provide several games, Terra Mobile-iobox will offer Midway's "Defender", Ideaworks3D will publish "Rebound!", and Pixel Technologies will publish a suite containing chess, draughts, poker and other games.

Hexacto, the US-based developer behind "Defender" and "The Untouchables Pin Ball", plans to release 20 titles for Smartphone 2002 this year, including wireless-enabled multiplayer games, according to Sendo.

Sendo said it has licenced technology to bring Amiga Anywhere games to the platform. The Java-based Intent platform from Tao Group supports Amiga games as well as games designed for the Java Mobile Information Device Profile.

On the business side, the Z100 will sport viewers for popular Microsoft document formats including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as non-Microsoft formats like Adobe's PDF (Portable Document Format).

The handset is to ship in European countries some time in the second quarter of this year and in the US in the second half of the year.

The Z100 is to be the first device on the market running the Microsoft Smartphone software. It will offer email, Web browsing and other handhed computer features in a compact mobile phone form factor. Samsung is another key Smartphone 2002 player, and plans to market a Microsoft-based smartphone near the end of this year.

Sendo's handset weighs 99 grams and claims to be the smallest and lightest GPRS tri-band smartphone. It has a 65,000-colour TFT display and uses the 900, 1800 and 1900 GSM bands, allowing it to function in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Among its PDA-like features are Web and WAP browsers, digital music player, USB, IrDA and serial connectivity and a Multimedia Card/Secure Digital Card slot for memory expansion. Like many of the upcoming handsets announced at last month's CeBIT, the Z100 supports Java for downloadable games and other software.

The phone includes an unspecified amount of RAM and 32MB of Flash memory, and runs on an ARM9 core-based processor from Texas Instruments. Sendo estimates it will cost about $399 (£279) with operator subsidies, or $999 without subsidies.

Sendo started shipping more conventional mobile phone handsets in May of last year, with a focus on the European market. The company's experience with European networks is mainly responsible for the earlier introduction of the Z100 here, Sendo said.

Microsoft owns a stake in Sendo, but the phone maker says it isn't influenced by the software company's agenda. For example, Microsoft opposed the use of Java, which is made by rival Sun Microsystems, but Sendo says it included Java because of demand from network operators.

The main competition for Smartphone 2002 is the Symbian OS, which has been around in handsets from Ericsson and Nokia for more than two years. However, the lack of wide GPRS data coverage has kept such devices from gaining traction so far.


If it moves, we cover it. See ZDNet UK's Mobile Technology News Section for the latest news, reviews and price checks on mobile phones, PDAs, notebook computers and anything else you can take away.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Go to the ZDNet news forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All