Vodafone has signed an agreement with Microsoft to develop software to enable the speedy and costeffective roll out of new services on mobile phones.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vodafone and Microsoft will work in close co-operation aiming to ensure that Vodafone applications and services are tightly integrated with a Windows Mobile experience, resulting in improved mobile phone functionality as well as an enhanced mobile experience for customers. The Microsoft platform will complement Vodafone's existing terminal platform portfolio.
As the platform proposal with Windows Mobile embraces the wider Microsoft developer community, Vodafone anticipates an increase in the breadth of applications and content created for mobile phones. The partnership will also enable Vodafone to access Microsoft's considerable expertise to help speed up convergence between mobile devices and computers. Additionally, it is expected to reduce time to market for new products and encourage customers to new services.
"We believe that the collaboration between Microsoft Windows Mobile and Vodafone live! will deliver a compelling and unique new alternative in the consumer mobile market," said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone's Global Director of Terminals.
"We are very pleased with Vodafone's decision to adopt Windows Mobile as a preferred software platform for its mobile business," said Suzan DelBene, Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Mobile and Embedded Devices Division, Microsoft. "Together we will deliver services which we expect will help Vodafone achieve cost-efficiencies, while delivering new propositions to its customers, thus making Windows Mobile an even more compelling platform."
The deal forms part of Vodafone's wider strategy of streamlining its current platform portfolio to deliver greater cost efficiencies across the Group. Over the next five years, Vodafone expects to focus on supporting three standard terminal platforms across its portfolio of mobile phones: Microsoft Windows Mobile, Symbian/S60 and Linux. The first device to use the software produced under the agreement is planned to be with Samsung and is expected to launch in the first half of 2007.
"Samsung has been proactively cooperating with Vodafone and Microsoft to enrich customers' mobile experience," said Chulhwan Lee, Senior Vice President of Samsung's Mobile R&D Team. "Through this cooperation, we hope to provide customers with strong PC connectivity and rich multimedia features that are easy to use, and cost-competitive."
"By focusing on these three core terminal platforms, Vodafone expects to be able to reap the benefits of a range of efficiencies such as reduced handset development costs, as well as the quicker and more cost effective roll out of new services," added Schulte-Bockum. "This initiative aims to ensure that we do not have to create a different set of software to provide services on a wide range of platforms, so that our customers benefit from enhanced yet simple-to-use services and lower costs."