Microsoft teams up with SingTel for mobile content

Microsoft Corp. has teamed up with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) to offer cellular subscribers access to mobile content and entertainment, including music videos, the companies announced Tuesday.

The service is designed to give SingTel subscribers with Windows Mobile-based devices better access to content downloads, said Pieter Knook, senior vice president of Microsoft's Mobility and Embedded Division, in a telephone interview.

Based on GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and SMS (Short Message Service), the service will allow Windows Mobile users in Singapore to tap into content from SingTel's own Ideas content-download service, television channel AXN, and Microsoft, among others, the companies said. That content includes music videos, movie trailers, ringtones, and news about Xbox games and events.

Windows Mobile users will get access to the service through a ticker that scrolls continuously across the device's main screen, and announces the availability of new content and promotions. A single click on the scrolling ticker will allow users to download videos or purchase movie tickets, they said.

Access to the service will be free but users will have to pay normal data charges to cover the cost of downloads.

The idea of a scrolling ticker is new for Microsoft, but the company's desire to work closely with operators is not. "We've always been willing to customize the phone and the home screen for operators," Knook said.

The content-download service will be available to subscribers in Singapore who purchase a Windows Mobile-based handset after May 28. "That's when Windows Mobile-based devices will be available with the software," Knook said.

For those users who already have a Windows Mobile-based device, they will be able to download the software application required for the content ticker from SingTel, Knook said.

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