Rogers AT&T and Microsoft announce agreement

Microsoft Canada Co. and Rogers AT&T Wireless announced Wednesday that the software maker’s Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone 2002 operating system will be available to customers on the carrier’s Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) network.

Under the strategic agreement, the companies will jointly work together to provide and promote wireless offerings to business users.

The Pocket PC Phone Edition platform, coupled with other server products, will allow customers to synchronize their calendar, e-mail, contacts and notes on their Rogers wireless device. In addition, customers can send, receive and view files created in Microsoft word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Roger’s wireless clients will have the option of wireless communications – voice, e-mail, MSN Messenger or short message service (SMS), the company said.

Corporate users will have to select Siemens AG SX56 Pocket PC to access the new services, as it already comes with Microsoft’s operating system embedded. After the phone has been bought, customers would then pay an additional monthly fee for the data that would be tagged to the device, explained David Neale, vice-president, new product development at Rogers AT&T Wireless in Toronto. On the voice side, he noted that pricing would remain intact.

Aimed primarily at the business class of users, he added that while the partnership with Microsoft may be unique in its strategic position, the rationale for choosing the software maker was simple.

“[With] so many people familiar with Microsoft’s applications and being used to the desktop icons, when you transport it across to a wireless device that is actually allowing you to gain access to the desktop, you can imagine it just makes it more natural to see exactly the same icons on the wireless desktops,” he said.

The companies are online at and