US software giant Microsoft is in talks with Verizon Wireless to launch a touch-screen mobile phone early next year in a bid to compete with Apple’s iPhone, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter,” said Microsoft is involved in the design of the phone’s software and hardware, but a third-party was expected to make the handset.
The newspaper said the device would use Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system and would also likely include its new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, a mobile application store.
The Journal said Microsoft’s mobile phone project is code-named “Pink.”
Asked about the Journal report, a Microsoft spokesman said: “Microsoft’s strategy has not changed, it is and has always been to provide a software platform for the industry.”
“We work closely with many mobile operators and device makers around the world because customers want different experiences on a variety of phones,” the spokesman said.
Internet giant and Microsoft rival Google last year, in partnership with T-Mobile, introduced a mobile phone, the T-Mobile G1, which runs on Google’s open-source Android software.
The handset is made by a Taiwanese company.