Microsoft and Ericsson's joint mobile venture, enticingly called Ericsson Microsoft Mobile Venture AB, makes its first appearance today, about a year after the plan was first announced.
The company, which will be 70 per cent owned by Ericsson with Microsoft taking up the rest, aims to provide some PC-like features to mobile phones using MS technology. The biggy, according to AB's head Ulf Avin, will be email on your phone - something which he says is a key app for a mass mobile market.
The company will be based in Sweden and support email, calendars, to-do lists etc etc on existing mobile networks. The first products will be available by the end of this year apparently. The phones will consist of a cut down Explorer browser and Outlook program on the phone, tied in with Ericsson's WAP technology. The two are speaking to mobile operators in the US, Scandinavia, UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
Ulf got very excited talking about the venture and went on about how the mobile market was going to take over the world and EMMV AB (our abbreviation) was going to have a big chunk of it. True to form, we also got at "by 2003" prediction: by 2003, mobiles will replace PCs as the main tool to access the Internet. We doubt it somehow, but then it shouldn't prove too hard to find the figures that prove otherwise.
And there you have it. ®