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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Microsoft Announces Mobiles with TV and Search Engines

At the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, on Tuesday, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer presented the new Office Communicator Mobile, a tool to communicate via e-mail, MSN Messenger, or voice over internet protocol, a technology that allows telephone calls using a cheap broadband Internet connection and "unlimited" live TV.

Ballmer also presented a version designed for the public, the Windows live mobile, that was similar to the business version, but also had an application that allowed for the possibility of consulting a search engine.

Peter MacAvock, executive director of Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), a consortium of 270 telephony, television and information firms that is backing the new technology predicted the first Windows live Mobile would be launched at first in Italy according to their test results.

DVB technology, which has been used in digital television for a decade via the DVB-T (Terrestrial) format, leapt to telephones in 2002 in the form of DVB-H (Handheld), and operators who have invested billions in the venture insist it will soon take off. It is a rival technology to the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) network, broadcasting signals that are picked up by a microchip in the handset that Virgin Mobiles plans to use in its soon-to-be-released mobile phones boasting live TV.

Meanwhile, Vodafone and Google announced that they would collaborate on an adapted version of the web browser for mobile services on Vodafone Live. Motorola said it would make more phones able to play songs in Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format, having generally promoted units compatible with Apple's iTunes software.

The Ofiice Communicator Mobile will be widely available by June or July,according to Microsoft.

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