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Microsoft to bake own phone?

Dec 1, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Microsoft will reveal a mobile phone of its own at the 3GSM show in February, according to a rumor. The phone reportedly will be based on Nvidia's ARM11-based Tegra SoC, which debuted without Linux support last year as Nvidia's initial foray into mobile applications processors.

The rumor was started last Friday by TheInquirer, in a story by Charlie Demerjian. Demerjian fingered Nvidia's Tegra as the likely processor, because the graphics chip vendor has not promised Linux support for the chip, which represents its initial entry into the mobile applications processor market. Demerjian writes, “NV appears to have sold Linux out to get the MS flagship deal.”

Nvidia in February launched the 600MHz Tegra APX2500, following up in June with the Tegra 600 and Tegra 650, the latter touted as supporting display resolutions up to 1680 x 1050. None of the Tegras, however, currently supports Linux.

Opera Software, meanwhile, has promised a port of its browser to Tegra. That suggests Nvidia may have broader market hopes for Tegra than just phones, since any Microsoft phone would presumably use its own recently updated mobile Internet Explorer 6. Netbooks have been identified as one other possible market for Tegra chips, which makes sense given the high-resolution displays that some Tegra chips support.

Like several bloggers who have commented on his post, Demerjian notes that a Microsoft phone would directly compete with phones sold by Microsoft's Windows Mobile customers. However, he suggests, it would not be the first time that Microsoft has done an end-run around customers.

The rumor dovetails neatly with an earlier rumor suggesting that Microsoft could be at work on a secret new mobile phone operating system possibly codenamed “Kumo.”


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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