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ANALYSIS-"Browser war" seen brewing in mobiles
Posted: 10-Dec-1999 [Source: Reuters]

["Analysts say Microsoft's tie with Sweden's Ericsson , world number three in mobile handsets, to market Internet-ready phones using Microsoft's Mobile Explorer could threaten the current mobile browser leader, Phone.com." ]

LONDON -- An alliance bringing U.S. software giant Microsoft into the mobile Internet arena could spark a "browser war" in mobile phones akin to the 90s battle between Netscape and Interne t Explorer in computers.

Analysts say Microsoft's tie with Sweden's Ericsson , world number three in mobile handsets, to market Internet-ready phones using Microsoft's Mobile Explorer could threaten the current mobile browser leader, Phone.com .

But big differences between mobile phones and personal computers suggest there is less at stake than the battle to dominate Internet habits which has spun out into a major antitr ust suit against Microsoft.

Mobile phone software is developing in a different way than personal computer software. It is simpler, and should have more open standards as market leaders including Finland's N okia apply lessons learnt from PCs.

And while the marketing and computing clout of global software leader Microsoft will help Ericsson beef up its handset branding, the non-exclusive Ericsson Microsoft venture does not threaten Nokia's considerable lead.

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