UK technology key to Microsoft deal

The UK wireless telephony industry is the envy of the world, according to representatives at STNC Ltd., a British cellular software firm swallowed up by Microsoft's Productivity Appliances Division yesterday.

Former CO at STNC Ran Mokady, now a director of Microsoft's Productivity Appliances Division, believes the outstanding quality of wireless technology in the UK was fundamental to the deal. "It's obviously flattering to be chosen by Microsoft," he says. "But I think it reflects the fact that we are one of the market leaders in this industry. Europe is the centre of wireless telephony, well ahead of the rest of the world and this is why Microsoft came to us."

Founded in 1993, STNC has only 40 employees, yet caught Microsoft's eye with its broad range of software for cellular phones and handheld computers, based on Internet communication standards.

Mokady also believes that under Microsoft's formidable wing his old company will flourish. "Part of the reason for this deal is the synergy between ourselves and Microsoft in working towards comprehensive mobile Internet based technology." Microsoft's huge infrastructure gives us the opportunity to offer more complex solutions. We will work towards server exchange technology and other services."

This deal illustrates how seriously Microsoft is taking the potential of wireless Internet communications. Earlier in the year, Microsoft revealed plans to join forces with British Telecom (BT) to develop a framework for wireless Internet and data services by the end of the year.