Microsoft's FonePlus OS Could Offer Low-Cost ComputingBy Baselinemag | Posted 2006-07-27 Email Print
Microsoft is showing off a prototype of a cell phone operating system that it might end up fielding as a low-cost computing platform for the developing world. (Microsoft Watch)REDMOND, Wash.Add to Microsoft's lower-cost computing alternatives designed for the developing world a new cell phone operating system, known as FonePlus.
Microsoft officials showed a prototype of the platform at the company's day-long FAM (Financial Analyst Meeting) here on July 27.
Microsoft has been dabbling with a number of different platforms with which it is hoping to attract potential first-time and/or less affluent users.
Among these initiatives, of which some are commercially available and others are in the test and/or research-prototype phase, are
But for the poorest peopleindividuals located primarily in developing nations who own almost no electronic devices beyond TVs, and, increasingly, cell phonesPCs are not within their budgets.
That's where FonePlus fits in, according to Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer.
FonePlus is a Microsoft Research project at this point. It currently consists of WebTV technology running on a cell phone.
"Could this be your first computer?" Mundie asked rhetorically.
Such a device, whether running Windows CE or some other Microsoft operating environment, would be able to open and read e-mail, run a suite of productivity applications akin to the PocketOffice suite that runs on Windows Mobile phones today, surf the Web and access online video content, Mundie said.
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