While We Were Out
By Eric Lin, Mon Jan 05 07:30:00 GMT 2004

While we were on vacation, news was thin, but it wasn't non-existent. Here are a few stories that broke after we left. It's a quick read to catch you up before the barrage of news and product announcements sure to flood in at CES this week.

Microsoft Smartphone Still Not Up To Snuff
The Financial Times reports Vodafone will delay the release of Windows-powered Smartphone, claiming that the OS still "isn't quite ready for prime time." Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin told FT that when Microsoft have addressed their concerns, Vodafone will be "very open to talk to them." Microsoft continues to distribute their devices in Europe through Orange and O2, but the support of Vodafone, who are still Europe's largest carrier, will be a critical win for Microsoft.

Vodafone, Verizon to Try Transatlantic SMS
Normally Transatlantic SMS aren't big news, North American GSM networks have been trading texts with Europe for years (or months in ATT Wireless's case). Vodafone users could send SMS to GSM users, but not to customers on Verizon, in which Vodafone owns a 44% stake. MobileMag explains that as the Vodafone enables the service throughout 2004, each message will be intercepted and converted for delivery on the appropriate system.

Sony Ericsson Announce Two Wireless Multiplayer Games
In what many see as a nod to and a jab at Nokia's N-Gage efforts, Sony Ericsson announced two multiplayer games playable over data networks. Unlike N-Gage games which only run on the game deck, Rally and RC Battle will be available as downloads from Sony Ericsson and are compatible with most newer handsets like the T610. According to Telecom Paper, Sony Ericsson are using these two games as a trial for demand of mobile online gaming.