Membership Has Its Benefits: Microsoft Announces Mobility Partner Advisory Council

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 30, 2002 — Responding to the needs of the rapidly growing ecosystem around mobility products, Microsoft Corp. today announced it has formed a new, specialized arm of its global Mobile Solutions Partner Program (MSPP), called the Mobility Partner Advisory Council (MPAC). The MPAC was created both to serve as a focused feedback mechanism for Microsoft®
mobility platform development and to provide new technical, marketing and business development support to companies making significant investments and inroads in the mobility space.

The MPAC augments the established MSPP, whose partner numbers have shot up to more than 5,000 companies, growing at a rate of 200 to 300 partners per month. The MSPP, an offshoot of Microsoft’s broader Certified Partner Program, remains free for new members and is designed to provide partners developing mobile solutions such as Pocket PC 2002, Windows®
Powered Smartphone 2002 and Mobile Information Server devices with the latest information and resources to help drive demand for their innovations.

“Microsoft is investing heavily in mobility, and we’re proud of our technology-leading software solutions. That said, the success of a platform really rests on the innovation of the partners that adopt it,” said Juha Christensen, vice president of the Mobility Group at Microsoft. “We’re thrilled to take our partner engagement to the next level with the formation of the Mobility Partner Advisory Council as we work with these companies as well as the MSPP to bring great solutions to our collective customers.”

MSPP members invited to join the MPAC will work more closely with Microsoft to bring mobility solutions to market. Microsoft’s goal is to work with industry partners to provide the most comprehensive end-to-end mobile solutions for delivering information and services to customers any time, any place, on any device. Microsoft believes that its new multifaceted approach to servicing partners on a more individual level will enable them to choose a program tailored to fit their specific needs.

MPAC members working with Microsoft will experience the following benefits:

  • Technical resources. MPAC members will receive a significant amount of technical and development resources from Microsoft, including architectural support for beta products and early access to development tools.

  • Marketing and sales support. MPAC members will participate in a number of joint “go-to-market” activities with Microsoft’s Mobility Group, including industry events and keynote engagements, and will have opportunities for cobranded marketing and communication support.

The MPAC is being formed at a time when Microsoft is seeing increased interest in its mobile platforms, from Pocket PC 2002 to Microsoft Smartphone 2002:

  • Tools. The Pocket PC 2002 Software Development Kit was made available earlier this month, and more then 250,000 SDKs have been distributed to developers to date. The SDK is used in conjunction with eMbedded Visual Tools 3.0, a Win32®
    API-based toolkit familiar to developers that allows for simple utilization. In addition, Microsoft will hold its first Mobility Developers Conference April 17–18, 2002. More information on the conference, including registration information, is available on the Web at .

  • Application growth. Applications for Microsoft’s mobility platforms have experienced tremendous growth, with MSPP members reporting over 10,500 applications.

“The number of developers building on the Pocket PC platform is on the rise,” said Laura Rippy, CEO of Handango Inc. “In the past year we’ve seen a 476 percent increase in the number of applications for the Pocket PC.”

  • Enterprise ISVs. Enterprise customers are a top priority for Microsoft and mobile solutions partners because the enterprise represents a growing opportunity for mobility solutions. Over 75 percent of MSPP members are creating solutions to meet the needs of enterprise customers.

“Microsoft mobility software — in particular Pocket PC 2002 — opens up new opportunities for developers as they seek to build a range of mobile solutions,” said Isaac Ro, an analyst with Aberdeen Group Inc.

The MSPP will continue to provide support for all enterprise developers, custom solution providers, global systems integrators, original equipment manufacturers, independent software vendors, independent hardware vendors, content providers, and application service providers building applications and providing development and consulting services for mobile solutions using software and platforms such as Pocket PC, Handheld PC, Windows Powered Smartphone 2002 and Mobile Information Server. More information and application details for MSPP can be found at .

About Microsoft in Mobility

Microsoft seeks to enable intelligent communications, not just by connecting devices, but also by connecting people to each other and their data so they can make informed decisions. Microsoft mobility solutions reduce the complexity and constraints that hobble the flow of personal and business communications, helping individuals and organizations achieve their productivity goals. Microsoft mobile solutions are a key component of Microsoft’s end-to-end wireless strategy to provide mobile Internet solutions that utilize technologies such as Microsoft mobile devices, Pocket PC platforms, and Smartphone software, as well as Mobile Information Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft .NET Server products, Microsoft Windows Media (TM) Technologies and MSN®
Mobile Service.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows, Win32, Windows Media and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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