The company's grievance is that after years of working closely with Microsoft on the development of Windows Smartphone 2002, the fruits of their endeavours were handed straight over to HTC, which manufactures the SPV handset for Orange.
HTC, like Via Technology and Nanya, is a subsidiary of the mighty Formosa Plastics combine.
Microsoft's own Web site hails the SPV as the first handset to run its Smartphone software even though technically speaking Sendo's own Z100 was launched before the SPV.
Sendo's immediate reaction was to stop work on the Z100 and announce that it would licence the rival, Symbian based, Series 60 platform from Nokia. At the original launch of the Z100, Ron Schaeffer, head of Sendo's product development team, had told the INQUIRER that as a small company, Sendo "didn't have the development dollars" to produce both a Symbian and a Windows Smartphone version of the Z100.
Now it appears the company has decided to go to court to recoup some of the money - which one source claimed was at least $40 million - spent working on Stinger (the code name for Smartphone). The court case - which Sendo described as "having merit" - will almost certainly hinge on how much of Sendo's own IPR [Intellectual Property Rights] found their way into Windows Smartphone 2002.
One of the biggest ironies is that Microsoft itself invested in Sendo which was previously just a joint venture between a Birmingham, England based management team and Chinese cordless handset manufacturer, the CCT Telecom Group.
Microsoft took a stake in Sendo which was worth around $10 million, but which was less than 10% of the privately held firm. µ
I HAVE A FOOTNOTE to this, writes Mike Magee. When Sendo announced it was to receive funding from Microsoft, I and some other British journalists asked Sendo's Hugh Brogan at the press briefing, in the London Waldorf, whether he wasn't afraid that the company might just take its information and then dump his firm. He claimed then there was no possibility of that. We asked this question because Microsoft had been accused of doing a similar thing with pen computers.
Complete mobile/PDA coverage
Sendo -- all stories eventually come true Hayward's First Law of Journalism kicks in
Sendo dumps Microsoft for Symbian
Sendo Z100s hit by further delay
Sendo Stinger Stung
MS Stinger based Z100 next year now
Smartphone 2002 handsets to appear this month -- finally!
Sendo Z100s hit by further delays
Sendo Z100 a no-no because of software delay
Microsoft takes big stake in Sendo Geddit?!?
Samsung to pip Sendo to Stinger phone
[That's enough links, Ed.]
The week in Google
The scandal that just keeps giving
Clip to the end....