Sprint First With New Microsoft Phone
Windows Mobile 5.0 debuts in the United States on a UT Starcom phone distributed by Sprint.
The PPC-6700 phone will have Microsoft’s latest operating system on board. It will be the first model in the US to have Windows Mobile version 5.0, which includes a number of updated Pocket PC applications and a new edition of PowerPoint for the mobile platform.
Sprint noted in a statement that the CDMA compatible phone will combine EV-DO and Wi-Fi wireless functionality on one device. It also includes a 1.3 megapixel camera in the design.A QWERTY keyboard slides out from underneath the phone for messaging.
The screen orientation shifts from portrait to landscape mode when the keyboard is open. The PPC-6700 resembles a Pocket PC more than a phone, as it does not have a typical keypad on the body.
For email, the device supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. This supports over-the-air synchronization with Exchange Server 2003, to maintain email and calendar information. Sprint expects the device to be available nationally later this year.
The phone will probably be the first of many Windows Mobile 5.0 devices, and their adoption coupled with Exchange synchronization could become a problem for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion in a couple of years.
Microsoft went out of its way to tout the built-in push email capabilities of Exchange 2003, specifying how it does not require third-party software to fulfill that function. RIM markets such software along with its highly popular BlackBerry messaging devices.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.