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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Introduces Mobile Explorer

Calling the development a major commitment to the Wireless Application Protocol Forum, Microsoft Corp. Wednesday rolled out its new browser platform created specifically for wireless devices.

Microsoft Mobile Explorer (MME) runs on data-enabled phones and smart phones and displays both HTML- and WAP 1.1-authored online content. The solution is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of next year.

MME for feature phones functions independent of any single operating system or air-link, and allows secure e-mail access, data management and Internet access when connected to a network.

The version for smart phones relies on the Windows CE operating system and offers on- and off-line e-mail, data management and Internet applications. Both versions will take advantage of Short Messaging Service (SMS), SIM Toolkit and Bluetooth wireless technologies, according to Microsoft.

"Now Microsoft will be incorporating WAP technology into three core components of its wireless solution: Microsoft Mobile Explorer, Microsoft Exchange Server and MSN Mobile Services," said Gregory G. Williams, chairman of the WAP Forum. "This announcement is another major milestone for the WAP Forum and validates the wireless industry's support for WAP."

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said its open software platform will allow customizable and flexible design, and that its compatibility with the Microsoft Exchange Server, the BackOffice line and MSN Mobile Services will further support its widespread use.

British Telecom is already trialing MME in the UK and in Norway, and both Korea Telecom Freetel Co. Ltd. and DeTeMobil Deutsche Telekom MobilNet GmbH are evaluating the microbrowser. Another deal may also be in the works to add the service to NTT DoCoMo's network.

Microsoft Wednesday also inked a deal with Ericsson to develop products for the wireless market. The agreement included a stipulation that Ericsson would use the browser in its phones, though Ericsson stated that it was still committed to the EPOC operating system it helped develop through participation in the Symbian alliance.