Microsoft has announced new wireless enhancements to its operating systems, including a Phone Edition application which will help handheld owners access data and make voice calls.
The software runs on the Pocket PC 2002 operating system and will be used with Hewlett Packard's Jornada 928 Wireless Digital Assistant.
The Redmond giant also plans to work with Intel and Texas Instruments to develop reference designs for phones that will run its Windows Powered Smartphone 2002 operating system.
The move is expected to boost wireless phone manufacturers and ensure that they get their products to market faster.
Microsoft product manager Ed Suwanjindar said that by using reference designs the company was providing recipes for hardware manufacturers.
Devices using Microsoft's operating systems could handle voice and data access, connecting to back-end corporate software and providing wireless synchronisation to Outlook for email with attachments, appointments and contacts.
Suwanjindar has ruled out having an 'always-on' capacity with the new phones as he believes they would draw too much power, and use up too many minutes from wireless service subscription plans, to be economically viable.
Devices using the new reference designs are already in the works, Suwanjindar said.
The Phone Edition software allows the applications on a device using the Pocket PC 2002 operating system to work together more efficiently.
For example, it allows users to dial someone directly from their contact list or add an appointment to their calendar on their desktop and have it show up on their handheld.
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