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November 6, 2006

Microsoft makes the cut at Vodafone

Posted by David Hunter at 10:43 AM ET.

Vodafone, the European cellphone carrier, has chosen decided to limit the mobile phone operating systems they support to three and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile made the cut:

Vodafone unveiled plans on Monday to become the first mobile operator to standardise the software on its handsets, striking a deal with Microsoft and saying it will work with just two other software providers.

Vodafone said it planned to slash the number of operating systems it would develop applications for in the next five years to just three, supporting just Microsoft Windows Mobile, Symbian/S60 and Linux in the future.

With little standardisation in the mobile software world, applications such as e-mail, instant messaging and music players currently have to be written in an array of different software languages to enable them to work on different handsets.

The duplication of the software writers’ work makes developing new applications costly and time consuming for operators.

Microsoft Mobile and Embedded Devices senior vice president Pieter Knook told Reuters other operators were planning similar reductions in scale.

It would have added spice to the narrative if Vodafone had mentioned how many operating systems they currently deal with since three still seems rather large. No financial terms were revealed.

Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Symbian, Vodafone, Windows Mobile

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