Microsoft's mobile strategy set to pay off

The biggest news from the recent CTIA Wireless 2007 show: After years of mostly talking about mobile applications and content, the industry is finally acting. And, lo and behold, Microsoft is positioned to cash in. Mobile handsets became more than just phones several years ago with the success of simple applications such as text messaging, […]

The biggest news from the recent CTIA Wireless 2007 show: After years of mostly talking about mobile applications and content, the industry is finally acting. And, lo and behold, Microsoft is positioned to cash in.

Mobile handsets became more than just phones several years ago with the success of simple applications such as text messaging, picture messaging and mobile games. Up next are handsets with music players that can download songs; mobile phones with network-assisted GPS navigation and local search; and handsets with biometric sensors and near field communications that offer a secure alternative to credit cards.

Ironically, most mobile handsets still use esoteric real-time operating systems (RTOS) such as Mentor Graphics' Nucleus and ENEA's OSE. These RTOSs were designed for small footprint devices, optimized for reliable phone operation and served the mobile industry well for many years.

Smart phones, a small but growing percentage of the burgeoning handset market, use high-level operating systems (HLOS), such as Symbian OS, Linux and Windows Mobile. HLOSs enable handsets to run more sophisticated user applications. They also provide better development tools, and support interoperation with desktop computers and the Web.

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Microsoft, Mobile, Strategy, Pay