New Smartphone 2002 Handsets Coming

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Microsoft’s newest operating system is starting to gather some steam.

Compal AR11 Compal has taken the wraps off the AR11, a wireless device running Microsoft’s Smartphone 2002 operating system, according to The AR11 will run a Texas Instruments OMAP710 processor and will cost between $500 and $600.

Compal says it will begin production in January and is in negotiations with both U.S. and European mobile phone service providers to get this device into users’ hands.

Compal isn’t the only hardware company working with this operating system. Last week, Asustek Computer announced plans to launch a smartphone using Microsoft’s OS in the second quarter of this year. And, of course, HTC already makes the Orange SPV for Orange SA, a European wireless service provider. All three of the companies working on Smartphone 2002 devices are based in Taiwan.

Smartphone 2002 is a version of the Windows CE operating system specially redesigned for mobile phones. Handsets running this OS have a 220 by 176 pixel screen and a joystick for user input, not a touch screen. They can access email and the Web, make phone calls, play games, and run other types of applications. Currently, the Orange SPV is the only shipping device that can run this OS, though it is available only in Europe.

The platform received a setback in November when Sendo, who had licenced Smartphone 2002, dropped all plans to ever release a device using it. Last month, Sendo filed a lawsuit alleging Microsoft leaked Sendo’s intellectual property to other companies developing handsets running the operating systems

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