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Sendo, Microsoft and HTC - the mysteries just grow

Times are all wrong on the Smartphone front
Mon Feb 17 2003, 00:44
WE CAN'T GET anyone at Sendo or Microsoft to talk to us about the accusations of fraud and counterfraud they're making over Smart Phone technology.

The case so far is that Sendo dumped Microsoft's Stinger software and sued them in a Texarkana court. In the last fortnight, Microsoft countersued Sendo, accusing them of behaving fraudulently.

And meanwhile the rumours are flying like confetti at the wedding of a British princeling or princess, suggesting that all three companies are briefing behind the scenes.

The latest we heard was that Orange, or rather its manufacturer, HTC, was given carte blanche to go ahead and use elements Sendo had put together for Microsoft.

The chronology of this puzzles us. The SPV phone has only come out in the last couple of months - the Sendo Z100 was supposed to come out in April last year but as we reported time after time, the machine was delayed.

Was the machine delayed because Sendo had trouble making the hardware work, or was it because Microsoft had trouble delivering the software on time? No one really knows.

But a conservative guess would say that it would take HTC at least nine months to put its own machine together, and that means that sometime around the beginning of last year, the specs for the Smartphone were in place.

Further, as MS and Sendo seemed to be all lovey-dovey throughout most of 2002, with the tears and recriminations only happening in November, wouldn't that suggest that perhaps the Vole was playing some kind of game here?

We daresay that all this will come out in the Texarkana wash soon enough - the court has a reputation for something called a "rocket docket", meaning that cases tend to get settled quicker than elsewhere.

Microsoft wants to move the case to a different jurisdiction, one, presumably, where the rocket's fuse burns a little more slowly.

What we can't understand is just why Sendo entered into this agreement with Microsoft in the first place. As we noted a month or two back, the British journalists at the so called "investment announcement" at the Waldorf did ask Sendo just why it was doing this kind of thing?

Like, did no-one at Sendo ever watch the famous Simpsons episode where Msoft made Homer an offer he couldn't refuse? Even old wrinklies like us saw this one…

At a conservative guess, Sendo spent something like $20 million on producing a handful of Z100 phones only then to file suit against Microsoft. These must be the collectibles of the phone market - that's around $2 million apiece for phones that never made it to the market.

And if you want to see how mysterious this all is, check out this web site.

See Also
Sendo and Microsoft - it all ends in tears
Details of "dirty tricks" against Sendo leak
Sendo Z100 comes any year now
Sendo dumps Microsoft for Symbian


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