Microsoft is attempting to drive the success of its Windows Mobile-based Smartphones by creating a new, lower-cost platform, code-named Peabody, that will be made by original device manufacturer Flextronics, the company that manufacturers the Xbox. Flextronics will sell devices based on the Peabody platform to cell phone makers.
"The significance of this partnership \[is that we can now make\] extremely high-volume, low-cost devices that don't have any concessions in terms of functionality," John Starkweather, a product manager in the Mobile Devices division, said. The Peabody announcement came on the first day of the 3GSM World Congress 2005, a major cell phone show in Cannes, France.
Peabody is compatible with the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) cellular phone systems, but not with the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) system that Verizon and Sprint use. The new platform includes a wide range of functionality, including video, gaming, photos, and personal information manager (PIM) synchronization with Microsoft Office Outlook.