Sendo sued Microsoft, one of its investors, two months ago after tearing up a contract to develop ‘z100’ smartphones based on the software giant’s operating system.
Sendo chose instead to develop handsets based on the rival Symbian operating system that is supported by all the major handset manufacturers, including Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola. It also licensed the source code of Nokia’s Series 60 software platform.
In a filing to the US district court of Texas yesterday, Microsoft denied Sendo’s accusations and called for the case to be dismissed.
It also launched a counter-attack with some accusations of its own. It claimed that Sendo created a weak product, missed deadlines and misled it regarding its financial position.
Despite its robust defence, the dispute with Sendo represents a new low point in Microsoft’s ill-fated attempts to make a breakthrough in the wireless industry. Only Orange, the French-owned mobile network operator, has launched a phone based on its operating system, while Symbian has continued to sign up heavyweight licencees.
Indeed to many observers, its fall out with Sendo has confirmed the worst fears of many handset manufacturers of Microsoft’s likely motives.
Microsoft has, however, been far more successful in licensing its operating system to manufacturers of wireless laptop computers.