Microsoft announced that they have aggressively elevated the competition in the mobile messaging business in the U.S.
The company announced on Monday an alliance with Texas Instruments (TI) to produce a high-performance computer chip that could cut prices of Windows Mobile-based "smartphones" by an estimated 20 percent and consequently compete with Blackberry's e-mail service.
TI's new single-core chips "offer significant savings on the total bill of materials," Microsoft said in a written release when combined with Windows Mobile software from Microsoft.
Major providers such as Cingular Wireless, Orange and T-Mobile and Vodafone which use the latest Windows Mobile technology have already announced they will support the technology and will provide software updates to existing users.
Hewlett Packard and three other makers will unveil smartphones at 3GSM in Barcelona that will run the e-mail technology out of the box.
Microsoft's announcement was made at a moment where Canadian firm Research in Motion (RIM), maker of Blackberry, is facing a patent-infringement lawsuit in the U.S. A judge has to rule whether to block RIM from providing its BlackBerry e-mail-forwarding service in the country because it violated a patent by U.S. company NTP Software.
RIM had just announced just last week it had developed a workaround option for the U.S. in case its Blackberry e-mail service had to shut down in the country where it serves more than 3 million users. For more info see CDRinfo previous news.
Microsoft spokesman Mark Burfeind said this announcement was not timed tocapitalize on RIM's legal misery. He told AFP it was timed to coincide with the major mobile technology conference in Barcelona, Spain.
The big advantage Microsoft has over the BlackBerry and other systems is that messages can be directly pushed from the same server that companies use to handle regular messaging. There is no need for the separate mobile server and additional licenses that are needed for other mobile messaging solutions.
Microsoft's new handheld service should be available within 12 months, according to the company.
RIM has not responded to CDRinfo's enquiries yet when contacted by our news team.