Sony Ericsson announces first Windows phone

Sony Ericsson will sell its first Windows-powered smartphone, the Xperia, in the second half of 2008, Microsoft has announced.

The agreement leaves Nokia as the only major handset-maker that not shipping phones with Windows Mobile. Microsoft has previously licensed Windows to Samsung, Motorola and LG.

The Xperia, a mobile web and multimedia phone, will provide a "premium mobile experience for work and play," Microsoft said.

"By working with Microsoft on the XPERIA X1, we have been able to couple our excellence in creating compelling consumer propositions with the productivity capabilities of Windows Mobile to deliver a seamless blend of mobile Web communication and multimedia entertainment within a distinctive design," said Rikko Sakaguchi, head of Portfolio and Proposition at Sony Ericsson.

Microsoft said 11 million Windows-based mobile phones were sold in 2007 and expects to ship more than 20 million in fiscal year 2008. However, it still has just a fraction of the smartphone market, with 123 million smart devices sold worldwide last year.

Sony Ericsson is the world's fourth-biggest handset manufacture, selling more than 100 million phones in 2007.