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6/26/2008
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Microsoft To Buy Mobile Services Company MobiComp

Among MobiComp's customers are Vodafone, clothing company Esprit, and a number of mobile carriers including ones from Portugal and Saudi Arabia.

Microsoft Thursday announced its intent to acquire Portuguese mobile back-up and sharing company MobiComp for an undisclosed sum bolstering Microsoft's standing in mobility and social networking.

MobiComp offers a number of mobile services to consumers and carriers, including: MobileKeeper, a suite of services for mobile back-up, social networking, and news reading; and Active mTicker, a mobile news feed service. MobileKeeper's social networking features allow consumers to post content to social networking sites like Facebook directly from their mobile devices.

Among MobiComp's customers are Vodafone, clothing company Esprit, and a number of mobile carriers with millions of customers, including Portugal's and Saudi Arabia's largest mobile carriers.

MobiComp's services would seem to fit nicely with Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Windows Live strategies.

"Investing in the right solutions from companies like MobiComp will extend the capabilities of Windows Mobile and Windows Live to help us provide the most innovative and seamless way to stay connected," Todd Peters, VP of Microsoft's mobile communications business, said in a statement.

However, according to a Reuters report, Microsoft intends to turn MobiComp into a research and development group and keep it in Portugal, making it unclear exactly what Microsoft will do with MobiComp's technology. Microsoft already has a number of cloud services in development and is rapidly expanding its mobile portfolio.

Windows Mobile is one of the top smart phone operating systems in the United States, though it lags far behind Symbian worldwide. Fifty handset makers build Windows Mobile phones for 160 carriers in 55 countries, and Microsoft expects 100% growth for Windows Mobile this year.

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