Microsoft is set to place more emphasis on making mobile phones as one of its strategies to develop the Information Technology infrastructure in developing nations, based partly on a prototype that was developed for Fone+.
Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft, is in control of the firm's Unlimited Potential Group, which focuses on the developing and poor nations.
The Unlimited Potential Group focuses on different initiatives including ultra low cost laptops and shared computing, but Microsoft's new leadership appears to focus on Windows Mobile and handsets in a bid to spread computing to poor areas of the world.
The idea of Fone+ has been in existence for several years at Microsoft, but the successful test of prototypes prompted Mundie to say that it was clear for such devices to lower the costs of computing for the poor.
We are at the point now where all phones go from dumb to smart, a major focus for Microsoft in terms of how we can bring access to the Internet and some of these technologies, particularly around health care, to this rural poor population, said Mundie.
The firm will be focusing on connecting a low to mid-end Smartphone based on the Windows Mobile Operating System to a TV via a docking station sot data on the handset can be displayed on the TV screen. This will enable people to use the computing power in the Smartphone on big screens.
Microsoft also plans to provide low cost computers, Internet based services and special types of software addressing specific challenges as part of its long-term research and development efforts which is targeted at developing nations.