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Windows Mobile phones to pack Opera

Some of the first Windows Mobile 6.0 phones to hit the market will include Opera Software ASA's mobile browser, in addition to Microsoft Corp.'s browser.

Motorola Inc.'s Q as well as phones from High Tech Computer Corp., Asus and Toshiba Corp. will include Opera Mobile, Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder and CEO of Opera, said at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona.

Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 6.0, the latest version of its mobile phone operating system, this week. Internet Explorer Mobile, Microsoft's browser, comes with the software. A number of handset makers announced this week plans to release phones running the operating system.

Von Tetzchner said the handset makers decided to add the Opera browser because most of the phones come with big screens and may be relatively expensive so they want to offer customers a good browsing experience. "People do want a quality browser when on Windows Mobile," he added.

Opera's browser technology renders Web sites to fit inside the area of a mobile phone screen. The browser is also designed to display sites faster than competitors', von Tetzchner said.

In addition to Opera Mobile, the company also offers Opera Mini, a free browser that works on most Java-enabled phones. It communicates with a server hosted by Opera or a mobile operator that strips down Web sites for quicker, less data intensive mobile browsing.

Mozilla Corp. also offers a mobile browser called Minimo that hasn't gained much traction in the market. Nokia Corp. has used Opera browsers historically but is now primarily using a browser it developed internally.

By Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service

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