Sendo Snubs Microsoft For Nokia

British mobile phone maker Sendo rattled executive cages over at Microsoft Thursday.

The long-time supporter of the Windows for Smartphone 2002 platform for handsets said it has instead decided to license Nokia’s Series 60 Platform for its smart phone category.

Not only that, but Sendo said it was halting all development of Smartphone-releated products. Sendo was working with Microsoft on its Z100 MS “Stinger” handset and was poised to launch the device this month in Spain and Italy.

“The Z100 will not now be coming to market,” said Sendo product strategy and planning executive Ron Schaeffer.

Sendo said its decision was based on its frustration over Microsoft’s reluctance to release key source code for the device, despite a $12 million investment from the Redmond, Wash.-based company.

“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,” Sendo CEO Hugh Brogan said in a statement. “The platform utilizes open standards and technologies, such as MMS and Java, jointly developed by the industry. The platform is robust, yet uniquely flexible, bringing great benefits to licensees, operators, developers and consumers.”

The Series 60 is a software platform that Nokia licenses as a source code to mobile handset manufacturers. The platform is design to run on top of the Symbian OS. The Series 60 licensing community includes the likes of Matsushita , Samsung, Siemens and, of course, Nokia.

“Interoperable solutions that are built on open and common industry standards are proving to be the winning formula,” said Niklas Savander, Vice President and General Manager, Nokia Mobile Software.

Microsoft’s Smartphone OS made its official debut late last month in a phone made by French phone maker Orange

Sendo’s departure from Microsoft’s camp could spell disaster for the software giant. The company does work with Samsung, but instead of turning to the usual handset makers like Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, Microsoft had relied on lesser-known Compal Electronics and Taiwan-based High Tech Computer (HTC) to make its Microsoft-enhanced phones.

A Series 60-based Smartphone made by Sendo is now expected sometime in the second half of 2003, according to a company spokesperson.

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