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Microsoft set to unveil MobileMe competitor next month

Microsoft is planning to unveil three new mobile services at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona next month. The software giant is aiming to move your mobile data into the cloud and rival Apple's MobileMe service.

Microsoft announced the Windows Azure platform in October at its professional developers conference and will be expanding its software + services platform with several new products. According to sources close to Microsoft, the company has been working on products codenamed SkyBox, SkyLine and SkyMarket. The final offerings are likely to be named under the Windows Live branding.

"SkyBox" is a service for users to sync a phones information with the web. Microsoft will be offering automatic backup and restore services, access and management of phone data and provide easy communication and sharing with others. The service will also allow syncing of contacts, email/SMS, calendar items and pictures into the cloud, similar to Apple's MobileMe. The difference from Apple's offering is Microsoft could be set to offer this out to non Windows Mobile devices.

"SkyLine" will be aimed at small businesses. Offering similar functionality to SkyBox, businesses will be able to setup their phones with Microsoft's Exchange hosting with their own domain names.

"SkyMarket" was originally discovered in September 2008 when Microsoft advertised several external job positions. SkyMarket is the codename for Microsoft's mobile marketplace, a competitor to Apple's AppStore and RIM's Blackberry application center. This service will only be available on Windows Mobile devices and will showcase the 1000s of Windows Mobile applications available today.

Microsoft is also expected to unveil Windows Mobile 6.5 at the MWC. Neowin revealed in November that 6.5 was being tested by device partners and would be unveiled in 2009 Q1. Little details are available on the 6.5 upgrade but we can confirm that those leaked 6.5 screenshots are genuine concept shots for the honeycomb web start menu.

Neowin will be live from the Mobile World Congress next month, stay tuned for more information.

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