Blackberry Slow Death
Wired News: MS Venture Nips at Blackberry
On the opening day of the 3GSM phone show, Hewlett-Packard and three other handset makers are expected to launch the first Windows smartphones equipped with the new e-mail technology out of the box. HP's new iPAQ HW6900 Mobile Messenger also offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Vodafone is to sell the phones under its own brand, in a joint marketing deal, targeting companies that already run Microsoft's Exchange software on their servers. Exchange is the collaborative glue behind Microsoft's popular Outlook application, which manages appointments and electronic address books in addition to e-mail.
Together with Cingular Wireless, Orange and T-Mobile, Vodafone will also deliver phone software upgrades to subscribers who are already running the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system on their smart phones.
Microsoft laid the groundwork for its e-mail offensive with an October update to Exchange -- which led the server software market last year with 48 percent of global sales, according to technology research firm Gartner.
Some observers have been predicting that the new technology will hurt Blackberry's maker, Canada-based Research In Motion.
Strand Consult, a Denmark-based IT research house, expects companies worldwide to invest in much broader mobile e-mail access for their employees in 2006.