Microsoft get serious about smartphones


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage at CTIA IT this morning to announce a slew of new Microsoft products relating to the Windows Mobile platform (and also to yell enthusiastically about the Seattle Seahawks). The biggest announcement is System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, an integrated Windows Mobile management platform that allows admins to manage fleets of enterprise smartphones over-the-air. System Center Mobile Device Manager will work with forthcoming versions of Windows Mobile devices and Microsoft has partnered with AT&T to roll out the management suite next year.

Speaking of AT&T, Ballmer outed the rumored BlackJack 2 while on stage, using it to demo a few features in Windows Mobile 6. Looks like the leaked info was right on the mark: 3G, EDGE, GPS and WM6.

Finally, CTIA CEO Steve Largent asked Ballmer if Microsoft planned to participate in the upcoming 700Mhz wireless spectrum auction. Of course, Ballmer’s answer was “no,” and he took the opportunity to pat the wireless industry on the back–to much applause. “At the end of the day, we have a core competence and we feel that the telecom industry and service providers have core competence,” Ballmer said. “Compared to anyone else in the industry, we’re trying to be an enabler of third parties. Apple is far more end-to-end and self-contained. We’re trying to be an enabler.”

For more on Microsoft’s push:
– read this article from Fortune

More stories about Windows Mobile   Microsoft   Steve Ballmer  


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