Optus Mobile, in conjunction with Microsoft Australia, today became the first Australian carrier to launch the Microsoft Windows® Powered Smartphone.
Allen Lew, Managing Director Optus Mobile, said the launch demonstrated Optus' commitment to being first to market with innovative handsets that enhanced the customer experience with new mobile services.
"Worldwide there has been considerable interest in Microsoft Windows® powered GSM handsets. Optus is pleased to be the first Australian mobile company to make this device available to its customers.
"Our research indicates that customers want a simple, mobile user interface that is similar to what they have in their homes and offices. This is particularly important for email and the information and services they frequently access on the internet.
"The Smartphone is a tool which helps busy people deal with their email - wherever they are, whenever they have a moment as it provides easy synchronisation with their email system.
"Customers will find the handset intuitive to use because it offers an interface familiar to anyone who has used Microsoft Windows® on a desktop PC," said Mr Lew.
According to Microsoft Australia Managing Director, Steve Vamos, the Microsoft Windows® Powered Smartphone is a core element of Microsoft's .NET strategy.
"It's all about connecting people to each other and to their data, and empowering them to get the information they want.
"The handset offers customers Microsoft® Pocket Internet Explorer, Microsoft Pocket Outlook® , MSN® Messenger, voice recorder, PC synchronisation software, Microsoft® Windows Media Player™ and SMS - taking the familiar user interface from the desktop to the convenience of a mobile phone device," said Mr Vamos.
To coincide with the launch, Optus has announced initiatives designed to further stimulate usage of mobile services on this device.
"We have repositioned our wireless internet rates to accommodate higher volume GPRS users. The new rates mean that an average 20 kilobyte email will cost an Optus user just over half a cent per kilobyte - a 75 per cent decrease from our present rate," said Allen Lew.
"In addition, we have opened access to a site that has been specifically formatted for this device. The site enables users to easily and quickly access internet-rich content such as news, information and entertainment sites.
"Viewing tailored content on the Smartphone demonstrates how far mobile devices have come, it now really is possible to read the Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian on your mobile device and search Google on the bus," Mr Lew said.
The Smartphone will be available from late June in Optus retail stores and will be affordable at AU$99 on a AU$99 Optus plan (Your Call or Business Edge - 24 month).