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Summary:

Say what? Did you read that headline correctly? I believe that you did, and it is befuddling to say the least. Microsoft has signed an agreement with BSquare giving them the international rights to distribute and support Windows Mobile products, including Windows Mobile 6.5. “Microsoft is […]

WinPhone LogoSay what? Did you read that headline correctly? I believe that you did, and it is befuddling to say the least. Microsoft has signed an agreement with BSquare giving them the international rights to distribute and support Windows Mobile products, including Windows Mobile 6.5.

“Microsoft is pleased to announce Bsquare as the first distributor for the Mobile Indirect Channel initiative. Microsoft continues to enrich and expand its Windows Mobile ecosystem and build upon the stability, reliability, performance and richness of Windows Mobile,” said Daren Mancini, general manager in the OEM division at Microsoft. “As developers and OEMs expand the number of mobile applications, services and devices, Microsoft is taking a new approach to sell and support Windows Mobile to a broader base of both consumer- and enterprise-focused Windows Mobile customers. Bsquare is uniquely positioned to leverage its deep knowledge of the Windows Mobile operating system, ecosystem and marketplace and serve the broader base of customers with its consultative approach.”

It is too early to gauge the implications of the agreement, but it may indicate Microsoft is positioning itself to produce Windows phone hardware directly. Having an outside company handling the software platform would give Microsoft a buffer from potential partner complaints of competing with licensees. Microsoft has not stated they will produce phone hardware, but it has been rumored for some time.

The full press release is after the jump.

Bsquare named first distributor for new Windows Mobile channel strategy

Bellevue, Wash., Nov. 5, 2009 – BSQUARE Corporation, the leading software solutions provider to the global embedded device community, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. under which Bsquare will be the first company to distribute Windows Mobile software and mobility applications internationally.

Bsquare will begin supporting approximately 30 select Windows Mobile partners with licensing, technical support and go-to-market activities as their current direct agreements with Microsoft end. Bsquare will offer personalized account management and highly-responsive technical support to ensure these Windows Mobile OEMs are successful with current Windows Mobile products.

“Microsoft is pleased to announce Bsquare as the first distributor for the Mobile Indirect Channel initiative. Microsoft continues to enrich and expand its Windows Mobile ecosystem and build upon the stability, reliability, performance and richness of Windows Mobile,” said Daren Mancini, general manager in the OEM division at Microsoft. “As developers and OEMs expand the number of mobile applications, services and devices, Microsoft is taking a new approach to sell and support Windows Mobile to a broader base of both consumer- and enterprise-focused Windows Mobile customers. Bsquare is uniquely positioned to leverage its deep knowledge of the Windows Mobile operating system, ecosystem and marketplace and serve the broader base of customers with its consultative approach.”

“Mobility solutions are one of the most sought after technologies in the workplace today,” according to Philippe Winthrop, director of enterprise mobility at Strategy Analytics. “Given the opportunity for improved flexibility and performance of a workforce, mobile platforms that can support the needs of both knowledge works and field/fleet service professionals provide valued scalability to IT and line of business managers.  Growth in this market will only accelerate as markets continue to exit this global recession.”

Bsquare will work closely with Microsoft to take the Windows Mobile platform to a broad set of mobility OEMs and operators worldwide.  Bsquare will enable new mobility OEMs to get to market more quickly with its TestQuest automated testing products customized for Windows Mobile devices. Bsquare also will provide Windows Mobile reference designs and board support packages in partnership with leading silicon vendors, communication stacks, technical support, training, engineering services and other value-add products to the broad base of Windows Mobile customers.

“Being named Microsoft’s first Windows Mobile distribution partner is a significant milestone for Bsquare. Windows Mobile is the only mobile operating system that enables solution providers to offer seamless integration of applications and connectivity for device users to enterprise business centers making it the obvious choice not only for handsets but also for ruggedized devices such as data collection terminals or telematics devices,” said Brian Crowley, Bsquare’s president and CEO. “We anticipate working with new and existing Windows Mobile OEMs and moving them to market quickly with our experience in all phases of Windows Mobile development and by offering our breadth partners support throughout their development cycles.”

Bsquare will distribute Windows Mobile software internationally including Windows Mobile 6.5, the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile software launched October 6, 2009.  New Bsquare customers will include both handset manufacturers developing Windows® phones for consumers and rugged device manufacturers shipping data collection terminals to businesses and other OEMs.

Bsquare currently distributes Windows Embedded licenses in North America and offers system integration services at 10 development centers located in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Taiwan, China and India.  During the last 12 months Bsquare has worked on service engagements with 15 unique Windows Mobile customers on projects such as Windows Mobile porting, application development, quality assurance testing and LTK (Logo Test Kit) testing preparation.

For more information about Windows Mobile licensing and to take advantage of special training offers, visit www.bsquare.com/windowsmobile

About Bsquare

Bsquare is an industry leader with a proven track record in providing engineering services and production-ready software products for the smart device market.  Since 1994, Bsquare has provided device manufacturers with software solutions for personal navigation devices, point-of-sale terminals, handheld data terminals, smart phones and many other device categories allowing them to get to market more quickly and cost effectively.

For more information visit www.bsquare.com.

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  1. turn.self.off Friday, November 6, 2009

    rumor? was there not some prototypes floating around the blogsphere a couple a weeks back?

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    1. They keep saying no, though.

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  2. I really hope they do start manufacturing their own hardware. I am very impressed with the zune hd and if they can take that experience and adapt it into other markets I am sure they will see success.

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  3. Rick Huizinga Friday, November 6, 2009

    BSquare has long been a distributor of Windows CE licenses. Adding the ability to distribute Windows Mobile licenses seems logical.

    If one needs to purchase a small number of Windows Mobile licenses for producing a product it is normal to go through a distributor.

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