First Microsoft smart phone hits U.S. stores

AT&T Wireless on Tuesday began selling Motorola's MPx200, the first smart phone based on Microsoft software to be sold in the U.S.

The MPx200 is also the first Microsoft-based phone to be offered by a major handset maker, which analysts have said may help Microsoft establish its long-sought-after credibility in the mobile phone market.

Microsoft's entry onto the U.S. market comes a year after it introduced the world's first Windows Powered Smartphone in the U.K., manufactured by Taiwan's High Tech Computer (HTC). Since then, Microsoft Windows Mobile phones have been introduced in several European and Asian countries.

"This is the first time that a customer here in North America can buy a phone with Windows on it, I think that is really powerful," Ed Suwanjindar, lead product manager for mobile devices at Microsoft, said Tuesday.

Commercial availability of the Motorola MPx200 is a big deal for Microsoft, said Michael Gartenberg, a research director at Jupiter Research. "This has been an effort that has been several years in coming and it is a very big win for Microsoft because they finally have the name brand handset maker and the name brand carrier on board."

However, the market for smart phones is fairly small, Gartenberg said. "Everybody is waiting for that market to take off. Microsoft is not going to dominate the market, but will be a very strong player among many."

The clamshell-style MPx200 allows users to surf the Web, send instant messages, access e-mail and a calendar and synchronize with a PC. It supports the 1800 and 1900 GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) bands and includes an SD (Secure Digital) and MMC (multimedia card) slot for memory expansion.

Motorola's MPx200 competes with products including Handspring's Treo line. Microsoft believes the Motorola device will appeal more to users because it looks like a mobile phone rather than a PDA (personal digital assistant), the design of the Treo handhelds, Suwanjindar said.

"Future device leadership really means capturing the volume smart phone opportunity with products that look and act like phones and offer smart data connectivity and a rich application experience," he said.

Brett Murray, an analyst with MobileTrax, said Handspring with its Treo 600 announced last week abandoned the PDA-style. "The new Treo is enough like a phone that it really feels like a phone and you don't feel like you're holding some strange device to your head," he said.

Where Motorola and Handspring really differ is the ability to enter a lot of data on the device, according to Murray. "What Motorola and Microsoft are offering is a way of viewing your e-mail, staying in touch through instant messenger, but it is not something that you are going to be responding to long e-mails on," he said. The Treo, on the other hand, has a keyboard and is for the mobile data user, Murray said.

The MPx200 runs Microsoft's Windows Mobile Smartphone 2002 software and costs US$299 when bought with an AT&T Wireless plan. In Europe, the MPx200 will be available soon and sold by a number of operators, Suwanjindar said.

The Handspring Treo 600 is available to Sprint customers at a suggested retail price of $599.99, according to a Handspring statement.

Besides Motorola, the world's number two handset maker, Samsung Electronics, the number three, will also deliver a Microsoft-powered smart phone later this year. Motorola and Samsung join HTC and Mitac International, both of Taiwan, as makers of smart phones running Microsoft software.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?