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Microsoft Launches Twin Assault on Handheld OS Market

Software giant Microsoft has released a new mobile phone operating system targeted at business and enterprise users.

The Windows Embedded Handheld OS comes in two versions, Ruggedized devices and Enterprise handhelds.

The former has been designed for mobile devices running on Windows Mobile 6.5 OS, scheduled for release by the end of the year. The latter will be embedded on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 handset, to be released by the end of 2011.

Speaking at the launch of Motorola ES400 business device, Microsoft's Windows Embedded product unit manager David Kelley said that the company's intention was to separate the business and consumer market for smartphones.

He said that the current Windows Phone offerings were targeted towards smartphones, adding: “But it doesn't necessarily align with what is needed in the enterprise device or handheld world where you have requirements like... different input methods.”

Microsoft is looking to regain lost ground in the smartphone market by releasing the three different operating systems, Windows Mobile 6.x, Phone OS 7.0 and Kin phone OS.