BT and Microsoft have confirmed they are to develop a range of mobile Internet data services with UK trials set to begin in the spring.
Mobile users outside north America will be able to access Microsoft's applications, such as email and calendar services, as well as Web content using modern mobile phones, pagers, and laptop devices.
Services are expected to become available in several countries by early next year.
The alliance will use Microsoft's Windows CE operating system in a move that will pitch it directly against the Symbian alliance headed by mobile device giants Psion, Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia. Symbian uses Psion's Epoc operating system.
Andy Green, BT's group director of strategy and development, said: "BT's partnership with Microsoft bridges the divide between computing and mobile communications, enabling customers to see what they want on the phone."
The initial trials will test services including email, calendaring contact list and basic Web information services through the Internet, plus access to Microsoft Exchange based corporate networks.
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