Microsoft, Sony Ericsson team up to bring Windows Mobile to sexy new smart phone

Microsoft Sony EricssonMicrosoft and Sony Ericsson shout “Enough is enough!”

For much of the past eight months, the world’s mobile attention has focused on Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android open-source mobile operating system, Blackberry’s continued success, and Nokia claiming 40 percent of the world’s cell phone market.

Microsoft and Sony Ericsson haven’t been left out, per se, but they certainly are not gaining much attention. In fact, the Windows Mobile OS has been much maligned lately, especially as the iPhone has taken over the No. 2 spot behind Blackberry in the sale of smart phones in the U.S.

Today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft and Sony Ericsson announced — somewhat surprisingly — they are teaming up to put Windows Mobile on a new premium phone, the XPERIA X1.

experia 1 250With the Sony Ericsson deal, Microsoft now has Windows Mobile on phones manufactured by three of the top four mobile players — No. 2 Samsung, No. 3 (and falling) Motorola, and No. 4 Sony Ericsson. No. 1 Nokia remains committed to the Symbian OS, although the Finnish company is rumored to be in talks with Microsoft to create Windows Mobile devices.

The EXPERIA X1, available in the second half of 2008, is a “premium experience of energized communication”, whatever that means. The handset is minimalist sexy. It features a 3-inch VGA display, full QWERTY keyboard, in a metal-finish “arc-slider” design. The EXPERIA X1 also records and plays back VGA, 30 frames-per-second video, has a 3.2 megapixel camera, has a touch screen interface in addition to the keyboard, and has handwriting recognition.

No price for the phone was announced.

experia1 arc designJudging from the images and video on the Xperia Website, Sony Ericsson is going to seriously challenge Apple in the smart phone looks department, raising the ante for all the players in what’s going to be an interesting year in wireless. What remains to be seen, however, is how well Windows Mobile evolves in light of the success of Apple’s scaled-down OS X and Nokia’s Symbian interfaces.

“It is very important for us as a growing business to extend the Sony Ericsson brand to new users,”said Steve Walker, director of portfolio planning at Sony Ericsson (CNNMoney). “These new phones are helping us achieve that.”

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

4 Responses to “Microsoft, Sony Ericsson team up to bring Windows Mobile to sexy new smart phone”

  1. Faisal Riaz says:

    Will this effect SE’s relationship with Symbian Body?

  2. tommy says:

    I personally cant wait for this phone. Although I have to wonder, with the Iphone always expereincing some sort of flaws, if Sony will take the time to flatten out the xperia before release? I really want one, but I want an xperia 1 thats not going to need bugs fixed.

  3. ana says:

    when can be sony ericsson xperia1 release into the market? cause im looking all the mobiles outlet to buy after it but it wasn’t yet on anywhere…please give me some info where to buy it.. thanx, —

Leave a Reply