Microsoft and Handspring today announced an alliance to have MSN Mobile power the content for the default home page on Handspring's new Blazer Web browser.
"We are thrilled that Handspring chose MSN as the primary Internet destination on its new Blazer browser," said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN and the Personal Services Business Group at Microsoft. "This is another example of MSN delivering on its strategy to offer content and services any time, any place and on any device."
The alliance offers consumers access to MSN Mobile's content and services -- including the MSN MoneyCentral online personal finance service, Expedia travel, MSNBC news and sports, and weather information.
"Web browsing is becoming a key application for handheld computing, and it will continue to be a primary focus for Handspring. Working with content leaders like MSN will help us provide the best possible mobile Web solutions for Handspring customers," said Ed Colligan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Handspring Inc.
The two companies are also exploring opportunities for future collaboration based on a shared belief in smart devices that can take advantage of powerful software services based on the Microsoft.NET Platform.
However, according to this AP story, Handspring spokesman Allen Bush claims that "the agreement had little to do with competition between the operating systems, and did not signal any willingness on Handspring's part to switch to the Microsoft operating system."
Handspring also partned with Google to integrate Google's intelligent search engine with Blazer.
Google is the world's largest search engine, and enables Blazer users to quickly search and browse a full range of web content, including more than 1.3 billion web pages in Google's index.
"Google's search engine enables customers to tap into a wealth of human knowledge from any Visor or Palm OS-based handheld computer," said Ed Colligan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Handspring. "The wide variety of integrated content and services we have assembled make Blazer an attractive browsing ;platform for our consumer and corporate users."
"Blazer is a friendly and feature-rich solution for accessing web pages in a wireless environment," said Larry Page, CEO and co-founder of Google. "Google's search engine connects Blazer users to the world's information."