Microsoft in wireless talks with Ericsson, Nokia

The software giant says it's in active discussions with the wireless companies over 3G, Bluetooth and Microsoft's Tablet PC

Microsoft is in talks with major wireless players Nokia and Ericsson over integrating Bluetooth and 3G wireless capabilities into Microsoft-powered devices, the software company's chairman, Bill Gates, said last week.

Microsoft competes with Nokia and Ericsson in the market for the software that drives mobile devices, but Gates indicated that the companies are cooperating in other areas.

He said that Microsoft already works with Nokia on wireless industry standards such as the use of SIM cards in various kinds of devices using Bluetooth. He added that Nokia is interested in the potential of Microsoft's upcoming Tablet PC for driving 3G data traffic, and is interested in ensuring 3G compatibility for Tablet PC-type devices. However, he said that Nokia hasn't yet agreed to make any products based on Microsoft software.

Nokia and Ericsson are both members of the Symbian consortium, which promotes the Symbian OS for wireless handhelds and smartphones.

Gates said Microsoft is working with Ericsson on issues related to Microsoft's support of 3G and Bluetooth, and is also in discussions with Ericsson's handset joint-venture with Sony.

Gates was speaking at a news conference in Sweden in connection with a his award of an Honorary Doctorate of Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Gates attended Harvard in the 1970s, but never finished his degree.


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