December 08, 1999 08:40

****Microsoft Unveils Mobile IE Software For Web Phones

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, U.S.A., 1999 DEC 8 (NB) -- By Steve Gold, Newsbytes. Microsoft Corp. [NASDAQ:MSFT] has taken the wraps off a mobile phone-based version of its Internet Explorer technology. Known as Microsoft Mobile Explorer, the software extends Internet Explorer beyond the Windows desktop and palmtop environment in its various editions and into the advanced mobile phone arena.

Mobile Explorer is said to be fully WAP (wireless application protocol) compliant. But how the new product fits in with Symbian's upcoming smart mobile phone environment, along with the other WAP- enabled microbrowser environments, remains to be seen.

Microsoft said that the new technology is a logical extension of the Explorer family, now that Pocket Explorer has become the de facto Web browser and e-mail client for the Windows CE environment.

Microsoft said, however, that the various components of the Mobile Explorer family will only be shipped progressively through 2000, starting with Mobile Explorer for mobile phones in the first quarter of the year.

Microsoft said it has already arranged trials of the technology by various companies around the world, including British Telecom and Deutsche Telekom in Europe, and Korea Telecom Freetel in Korea.

Like Windows CE, Mobile Explorer is designed to power Internet-enabled mobile devices. But Mobile Explorer is designed for the mobile phone category. The software is billed as being modular, customizable and flexible, enabling handset manufacturers and cellular carriers to provide their customers with the wide choice of features.

Harel Kodesh, vice president of Microsoft's Productivity Appliance Division, said that today's launch of the Mobile Explorer platform - combined with Microsoft Exchange Server and MSN Mobile Services - represents a significant step forward for the mobile phone industry.

Mobile Explorer is likely to cause existing WAP software vendors such as Phone.com a potential major headache, as the technology is both WAP 1.1 and HTML (hypertext markup language) compatible. This means that conventional Web pages can be displayed directly on the screens of Mobile Explorer-enabled mobile phones, without the need for intermediate servers or adapted Web pages.

In addition, Microsoft said that both the feature phone and smart phone architectures of Mobile Explorer will be able to take advantage of current and emerging wireless technologies such as Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messaging and Bluetooth technologies.

As reported previously, Bluetooth is a short-range wireless local area network (LAN) technology for mobile devices to interface with a variety of devices, including desktop PCs, at speeds of up 2 megabits per second (Mbps) at up to 10 meters away.

Microsoft's Web site is at http://www.microsoft.com .

Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com .

07:31 CST Reposted 08:25 CST

(19991208/Press Contact: Brooke Richardson, Waggener Edstrom 408-986- 1140 /WIRES ONLINE, PC, BUSINESS, TELECOM/MICROSOFT2/PHOTO)

Thanks Kinetic!

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