Users can now look at a map on a mobile phone with...

Users can now look at a map on a mobile phone with Microsoft and AT&T Wireless Services

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Microsoft Corp. and AT&T Wireless Services Inc. has unveiled that it would let users look at a map displayed on a mobile phone to find driving directions, other users and the locations of business contacts.

The service, which uses Microsoft’s .NET technology aimed at making software and information work seamlessly on the Web, is the first product announced since Microsoft and AT&T Wireless said in August that they would partner to provide wireless data services.

David Rasmussen, Microsoft’s lead product manager for .NET mobile development, said that the two companies were currently in trials and were aiming to begin commercial sales in early 2003, mainly to corporate users.
So-called location-based services, which many consider a key application for mobile devices, are expected to be a strong incentive for users to switch to next-generation mobile networks.

The two companies showed in a demonstration how a mobile phone user could find nearby points of interest, drop-off boxes for courier packages and driving directions to contacts.

Location-based services have yet to take off in the U.S., while in Japan, mobile phone companies already offer services that let users find restaurants, movie theaters and directions on their cell phone displays.