Microsoft outsources Windows Mobile distribution to Bsquare

bsquare-logo In an unexpected move Microsoft, who has said they intend to work more closely with Windows Mobile OEM’s in the future, has outsources Windows Mobile licensing and certification to Bsquare, a company that specializes in embedded device solutions.

Bsquare will begin supporting approximately 30 select Windows Mobile partners with licensing, technical support and go-to-market activities as their current direct agreements with Microsoft end. Bsquare will offer personalized account management and technical support to ensure these Windows Mobile OEMs are successful with current Windows Mobile products.

Daren Mancini, general manager in the OEM division at Microsoft said:

“Microsoft is pleased to announce Bsquare as the first distributor for the Mobile Indirect Channel initiative. Microsoft continues to enrich and expand its Windows Mobile ecosystem and build upon the stability, reliability, performance and richness of Windows Mobile,”  “As developers and OEMs expand the number of mobile applications, services and devices, Microsoft is taking a new approach to sell and support Windows Mobile to a broader base of both consumer- and enterprise-focused Windows Mobile customers. Bsquare is uniquely positioned to leverage its deep knowledge of the Windows Mobile operating system, ecosystem and marketplace and serve the broader base of customers with its consultative approach.”

The move appears to be intended to increase the number of OEM’s using Windows Mobile, again a strategy which is the opposite of what we understood about Microsoft’s future Windows Mobile plans.

Bsquare says the move will enable new mobility OEMs to get to market more quickly with its TestQuest automated testing products. Bsquare also will provide Windows Mobile reference designs and board support packages in partnership with leading silicon vendors, communication stacks, technical support, training, engineering services and other value-add products to the broad base of Windows Mobile customers.

Brian Crowley, Bsquare’s president and CEO said:

“Being named Microsoft’s first Windows Mobile distribution partner is a significant milestone for Bsquare. Windows Mobile is the only mobile operating system that enables solution providers to offer seamless integration of applications and connectivity for device users to enterprise business centers making it the obvious choice not only for handsets but also for ruggedized devices such as data collection terminals or telematics devices,”  “We anticipate working with new and existing Windows Mobile OEMs and moving them to market quickly with our experience in all phases of Windows Mobile development and by offering our breadth partners support throughout their development cycles.”

Bsquare will distribute Windows Mobile software internationally including Windows Mobile 6.5. New Bsquare customers will include both handset manufacturers developing Windows® phones for consumers and rugged device manufacturers shipping data collection terminals to businesses and other OEMs.

Bsquare currently distributes Windows Embedded licenses in North America and offers system integration services at 10 development centers located in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Taiwan, China and India.  During the last 12 months Bsquare has worked on service engagements with 15 unique Windows Mobile customers on projects such as Windows Mobile porting, application development, quality assurance testing and LTK (Logo Test Kit) testing preparation.

Read more at Bsquare here.