Monday, February 14, 2005

Microsoft Mass Market Phone

From Alan Reiter's Camera Phone Report.

Alan sheds some light on MSFT's announcement today.

From I learned that Microsoft is working with the huge contract electronics manufacturerFlextronics to develop a mass market GSM GPRS camera phone that's a new, slimmed down version of its current SPV cellular phone using the Windows Mobile Smartphone operating system, according to an article in The Guardian and also a Flextronics' press release.

The phone, code-named Peabody, will include a camera (no details about the resolution or features) and Bluetooth. It will be sold to Original Equipment Manufacturers.

Microsoft's strengths

Look, for example, as Microsoft's entry into the blogging sphere. Its MSN Spaces (see below) might not be the most well known or feature-rich, but it has 1.5 million or more users (at least that number has signed up), according to a report in Blogcount.

Think of how MSN Spaces could encourage camera phone use.

(The Six Apart blogging empire, by the way, has about 6.5 million subscribers, of which 3.5 are active, notes another entry in Blogcount. TypePad has a very nice photo albums features.)

Business applications

Consider Microsoft's power in the business market and then consider what a terrible job the wireless industry has done in marketing -- or not marketing -- camera phone applications to businesses.

Think about the vertical markets where camera phones are being used now: Journalism, real estate, construction, field sales and service, healthcare, politics, entertainment, etc.

When you begin adding up Microsoft's interests and the current and potential applications for camera phones, you can see how wireless imaging cuts across a great deal of Microsoft's ventures

I talk about how Microsoft could dominate Phase 2 of the Internet here.

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