Microsoft smart phone OS enters Asia

In the Philippines it'll be the Smart Amazing Phone no less
Written by Winston Chai, Contributor

In the Philippines it'll be the Smart Amazing Phone no less

Philippines mobile operator SMART Communications will be the first telco in Asia to launch a phone running Microsoft’s Smartphone 2002 operating system. Microsoft said the device will be available "soon" at an undisclosed price and will be marketed as the 'SMART Amazing Phone'. The colour, tri-band handset will come with 32MB of built-in memory and a clip-on digital camera, the company added in a statement. The decision to first unveil the product in the Philippines could be prompted by the fact that the country boasts of one the highest mobile phone penetration and short message service (SMS) usage rates in the world. So far, Smartphone-based handsets have only been announced in Europe and Canada. Microsoft’s Smartphone operating system gives a phone some PDA functionality, such as calendaring, email, and web browsing, and is the software maker’s first attempt at penetrating the handset arena. Microsoft did not identify the smart phone maker although various reports point to Taiwan-based electronics maker High Tech Computer (HTC). Also, UK carrier Orange currently sells a Smartphone 2002-based device made by HTC. T-Mobile will start to do so in the summer. Despite the software behemoth's efforts to capture a share of the market for next generation converged handhelds, all five of the world's top mobile phone makers - Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Siemens and Sony Ericsson - are planning to make phones using the rival Symbian operating system. Samsung is the lone licensee of Microsoft's Smartphone software among the five. Microsoft recently suffered a big blow when UK handset maker Sendo said it dropped the software giant's Smartphone software in favour of Symbian. CNET News.com's Ben Charny contributed to this report.
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