NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Yahoo will make its suite of software for high-end mobile phones more widely available on Wednesday, when it plans to unveil a version for smartphones that run Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system.
The company's Go for Mobile software includes its email, search, photo, address book and calendar services, as well as access to news, sports and finance content. Yahoo offers many of its popular online services in mobile versions designed to fit content onto cellphones' smaller screens that are accessible using any Web-enabled phone. But the software provides a faster, smoother experience and additional features. For instance, users can store emails for reading when they don't have service and can automatically upload photos taken with their phone cameras into their Yahoo Photos accounts.
However, since Go for Mobile's launch in February, the software has only been available for certain Nokia phones, which run the Symbian operating system. In the US, consumers could only use the software if they got their service from Cingular Wireless and had one particular Nokia phone, said Yahoo spokeswoman Nicole Leverich. More services and Nokia phones are supported in Europe.
Making the software available to Windows Mobile smartphones, which include Motorola's popular Q phone and several Palm Treo phones, will nearly double Yahoo's reach. Last year, Microsoft shipped 6 million phones with its Windows Mobile software.
For now, these phone owners will have to download Yahoo's software. But starting early next year, partners such as Motorola will preinstall it on some phones, in moves that are likely to significantly expand its usage. Yahoo is in talks with Research in Motion to bring the software to its devices, Leverich said.
"This is about reach for us. We want to get it on all devices that are in consumers' hands," she said. "We definitely think expanding the reach of the service to new devices is going to help us continue to grow the service."
At Yahoo's annual analyst meeting in May, Chief Executive Terry Semel named mobile services as one of several major strategic "big bets" the company is making for the next five years. Yahoo wants to expand aggressively into this arena because mobile devices outnumber personal computers 2-to-1 and are key lines to consumers in hot emerging markets like India.
-By Riva Richmond, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5670; firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires "
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