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By Associated Press

REDMOND, Wash. – Microsoft Corp. plans a launch this spring of its next-generation operating system for wireless devices, Windows Mobile 6, which is important for the company’s efforts to grab market share beyond the desktop.

Microsoft is expected to disclose details of Windows Mobile 6 on Monday at a telecommunications conference in Barcelona, Spain.

The company pledged that the new software would render e-mails and other documents much as they appear on desktop computers. The software also will have deeper connectivity to Microsoft’s “Live” suite of online services, including instant messaging.

Those features are part of a broader effort by Microsoft to use connectivity to its prevalent desktop software as a strategy for catching up with the worldwide leader in mobile operating systems, Symbian Ltd. Symbian says more than 100 million phones with its software have been sold; Microsoft doesn’t give comparable figures but points to a Gartner prediction that 64 million Windows-enabled devices will have been sold by 2009.

Microsoft shares lost 11 cents to close at $29.26 in Thursday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.



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