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Microsoft, Telstra debut Pocket PC phone

Microsoft, Telstra debut Pocket PC phone

Microsoft and Telstra have attempted to lure businesses into the wireless PDA market with the launch of a new Pocket PC Phone Edition 2002 in Sydney this month.

Code-named o2xDA, the device is a fully integrated, GSM/GPRS-equipped mobile phone and PDA with voice and text messaging capability. It integrates with Microsoft's Outlook, Excel, Word, Internet Explorer and MSN Messenger applications.

The unit has a touch-sensitive colour screen, provides Internet and WAP access, and is a dual-band mobile phone, giving users access to Telstra's network in Australia.

Priced at $1,699, Microsoft said the device was geared more towards the business market than to consumers.

"At the [small and medium-size business] level, customers want productivity. People don't spend their whole day behind the desk," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the launch.

Ballmer said the vision behind o2xDA was to give the knowledge worker the tools to access and deal with information on the go.

The two partners plan to ramp up development work on a new suite of wireless-enabled applications, work which would involve up to 400 formal developers from Telstra as well as Microsoft's worldwide developer network, according to Telstra Retail general manager Ted Pretty.


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