Today, Microsoft and Motorola put an end to the worst-kept tech secret in recent days by formally announcing a joint deal in which Motorola will sell smart cell phones based on Windows Mobile software. Microsoft says the new Motorola MPx200, which will go on sale later this year, will run on AT&T Wireless's wireless network and will offer North American customers a unique solution. The Motorola deal marks a huge milestone for Microsoft, which has met a lot of resistance from the telecommunications industry.
   "Today's busy professionals are demanding more from their wireless experience and looking for the right combination of reliability and synchronization that can keep them connected and entertained while mobile," said Pieter Knook, corporate vice president of the Mobile and Embedded Devices (MED) Division at Microsoft. "The new Motorola MPx200 delivers a long-awaited mobile phone experience, combining the powerful and familiar Windows Mobile software with AT&T Wireless's advanced GSM \[Global System for Mobile Communication\]/GPRS \[General Packet Radio Service\] services and the trusted quality of a Motorola handset."
   The Motorola MPx200 smart cell phone is designed for speed and multimedia and features a large color screen and a polyphonic speaker. Expandable to 1GB of memory, the phone contains enough storage for ample libraries of music, games, and video, according to Motorola. And the Windows Mobile software provides a powerful platform on which to run these multimedia wares and interact with business processes. Microsoft's portable platform for smart phones includes the most recent version of Windows Media Player (WMP) as well as Pocket PC versions of the company's popular Microsoft Office applications.
   Final pricing of the MPx200 isn't available. However, interested parties can visit the AT&T Web site for more information and to sign up to be alerted when the phone is available.