Microsoft joins forces with Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson has announced a new high-end web-enabled smartphone at the Mobile World Congress.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 blends multimedia and web connectivity. With the Xperia X1 Sony Ericsson is moving away from its traditional sparring partner Symbian, instead opting for Microsoft Windows Mobile.

Office apps

The reasoning behind this was to ensure that Microsoft Office apps such as Excel and Powerpoint would run seamlessly, enabling business users to sync the complete contents of their computers with the Xperia X1 handset.

Sony Ericsson executive Steve Walker told the AP news agency that Microsoft Windows Mobile was the "ideal" platform for the X1. "In the case of the Xperia X1, Microsoft gives us an opportunity to build on," he said.

Xperia is the third brand name to be added to Sony Ericsson handsets; the first two being Walkman and Cybershot. The first handset to be showed off, the Xperia X1, is a slider phone hiding away a complete Qwerty keyboard underneath its 3-inch touchscreen. The Xperia X1 also packs in the fastest 3G speed, HSDPA, a quicker processor, and the Google Maps application.

Samsung, Motorola and LG all offer mobile phones running Microsoft Windows Mobile, while Nokia, the word’s largest handset maker, normally goes for Symbian. However, some Nokia handsets incorporate some Microsoft technology, including Windows Media Player.

G Series

Sony Ericsson also showed off a whole new series of mobile phones, the G Series, at the MWC show. Also added were two new touchscreen handsets, an updated Walkman model, and a beefed up cameraphone.

The Sony Ericsson G Series includes two new touchscreen handsets, the Sony Ericsson G700 and the Sony Ericsson G900.

Both G Series models lets you choose how you want to navigate your phone – using the navigation key in the middle of the handset, or use the brand new user interface on the touchscreen.

The Sony Ericsson G900 is the more advanced handset, featuring a 5-megapixel camera sensor with touch focus, letting you point on an area of the screen where you want the focus of the shot to be. There’s also Wi-Fi connectivity thrown in for good measure.

Crystal clear audio

The new Sony Ericsson Walkman W980 promises ‘crystal clear audio’, which will ‘exceed all expectations’. Its 8GB internal memory has room for around 8,000 songs, and there’s also a 3.2-megapixel image sensor.

Finally, for photo enthusiasts with a taste for action and outdoor snapping, the Sony Ericsson Cybershot C702 is both splash and dust proof, while the Sony Ericsson Cybershot C902 features a 5-megapixel sensor.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 will go on sale in the second half of 2008. No pricing details were mentioned at this stage.