Orange to offer Microsoft-based Motorola phone

In a move that may help establish Microsoft's long-sought-after credibility in the mobile phone market, mobile operator Orange SA, handset maker Motorola Inc., and Microsoft Corp. intend to announce that Orange will sell a Microsoft-based Motorola phone, sources familiar with the plans said Friday. The announcement is slated for Sept. 15, the sources said. Photos of what is said to be the Motorola phone running Microsoft's software have started to crop up on Internet rumor sites.

Microsoft's U.K. public relations agency for mobile devices dismissed talk about an announcement as "speculation," but confirmed a briefing next week for journalists involving Microsoft partners and related to an announcement coming on Sept. 15. Spokespeople for Orange and Motorola declined to comment. Orange has been a close Microsoft ally on the smart-phone front. Last October, the Paris-based mobile operator became the first to sell a handset running Microsoft's Windows Mobile software. The devices are mobile phones with expanded PDA (personal digital assistant) functionality.

News source: Infoworld

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