has signed an agreement with Microsoft to develop software to enable the speedy
and cost-effective roll out of new services on mobile phones. Under the terms of
the agreement, Vodafone and Microsoft will work in close co-operation aiming to
ensure that Vodafone applications and services are tightly integrated with a
Windows Mobile experience, resulting in improved mobile phone functionality as
well as an enhanced mobile experience for customers. The Microsoft platform will
complement Vodafone's existing terminal platform portfolio.
As the platform
proposal with Windows Mobile embraces the wider Microsoft developer community,
Vodafone anticipates an increase in the breadth of applications and content
created for mobile phones. The partnership will also enable Vodafone to access
Microsoft's considerable expertise to help speed up convergence between mobile
devices and computers. Additionally, it is expected to reduce time to market for
new products and encourage customers to new services.
"We believe that the collaboration between Microsoft Windows Mobile and
Vodafone live! will deliver a compelling and unique new alternative in the
consumer mobile market," said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone's Global
Director of Terminals.
"We are very pleased with Vodafone's decision to adopt Windows Mobile as
a preferred software platform for its mobile business," said Suzan DelBene,
Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Mobile and Embedded Devices Division,
Microsoft. "Together we will deliver services which we expect will help
Vodafone achieve cost-efficiencies, while delivering new propositions to its
customers, thus making Windows Mobile an even more compelling platform."
The deal forms part of Vodafone's wider strategy of streamlining its current
platform portfolio to deliver greater cost efficiencies across the Group. Over
the next five years, Vodafone expects to focus on supporting three standard
terminal platforms across its portfolio of mobile phones: Microsoft Windows
Mobile, Symbian/S60 and Linux. The first device to use the software produced
under the agreement is planned to be with Samsung:
"Samsung has been proactively cooperating with Vodafone and Microsoft to
enrich customers' mobile experience," said Chulhwan Lee, Senior Vice
President of Samsung's Mobile R&D Team. "Through this cooperation, we hope
to provide customers with strong PC connectivity and rich multimedia
features that are easy to use, and cost-competitive."
"By focusing on these three core terminal platforms, Vodafone expects to
be able to reap the benefits of a range of efficiencies such as reduced
handset development costs, as well as the quicker and more cost effective
roll out of new services," added Schulte-Bockum. "This initiative aims to
ensure that we do not have to create a different set of software to provide
services on a wide range of platforms, so that our customers benefit from
enhanced yet simple-to-use services and lower costs."
Vodafone expects a launch in the first half of 2007. No further information
Cheers ~ Arne