Qualcomm, MS Team Up on Smartphones

Microsoft and Qualcomm said Thursday that they had reached a deal to port the Windows Mobile operating system to Qualcomm's chipsets. Both companies said the development would help shorten the development times of new smartphones.

Qualcomm says supporting Windows Mobile on its chips would also lead to smaller and lighter smartphones as well. Additionally, the integration would bring much better battery life.

"We know that mobile operators are eager to attract and retain subscribers with an affordable portfolio of Windows Mobile-powered devices," Microsoft senior vice president Pieter Knook said. "Qualcomm's innovative hardware platform coupled with our versatile software experience does just that."

The two companies have begun testing and intergrating Windows Mobile on Qualcomm's 7xxx-series chipsets. Both companies say by doing the testing in-house, it would improve time to market by taking some development steps out of the process for manufacturers.

The platform will be compatible with both CDMA2000 1xEV-DO and UMTS. Manufacturers would also be able to take advantage of the multimedia capabilities and multi-megapixel camera support among other features that Windows Mobile provides.

Chips with Windows Mobile are expected by the second half of 2006, with phones based on those chips coming sometime next year.

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