Sendo drops Microsoft

11 Nov 2002

British mobile phone manufacturer Sendo has announced that it has terminated its Smartphone development program using the Microsoft Windows powered Smartphone 2002 software. The announcement is a blow to Microsoft, who is attempting to entering the phone software market. Sendo had been one of the few manufacturers to adopt Microsoft’s software.

Sendo has switched allegiances and is now going to develop handsets based on the Nokia Series 60 platform. Series 60 is a software platform for application rich phones that Nokia licenses to mobile handset manufacturers. The platform is optimised to run on top of the Symbian OS. Sendo joins as the newest member to the Series 60 licensing community with Matsushita (Panasonic), Samsung, Siemens and Nokia.

“Earlier this fall we reviewed our smart phone strategy. While our mission of providing customers with feature-rich and ubiquitous devices remains unaltered, seeing that the Series 60 fully embraces both our mission and the new strategy we decided to approach Nokia,” said Hugh Brogan, chief executive officer of Sendo.

The increased computing power of mobile phones has led to phone software becoming an important developing market. Microsoft has been keen to entire this arena. Already a market leader with desktop operating systems, the software giant has branched out into handhelds with Windows Pocket PC and mobile phones with Smartphone 2002.

The first Smartphone powered handset was launched last month by European mobile operator Orange. The Orange SPV was manufactured by HTC, the company also responsible for O2’s xda handset. Sendo was due to launch its first Smartphone handset, the Z100, in Spain and Italy later this month. However, the company confirmed today that the launch of the handset has been abandoned. A limited amount of companies are left in the Smartphone project. These include the aforementioned HTC, Compal and Samsung. Samsung is following a dual software strategy having already licensed the Nokia Series 60 platform.

By Dick O’Brien