Now, Microsoft has announced its Connected Services Accelerator Program, billed as a series of projects designed to "incubate, and ultimately commercialise, new types of consumer, business and mobile services through collaboration with independent software vendors, developers and operators." Accelerator projects will use the Microsoft Connected Services Sandbox as the platform for the creation, development and testing of these services.
Through the Accelerator Microsoft hopes to seed the development of new, cutting-edge mobile applications for vertical markets, which can be supported on Windows Mobile-based devices as well as Windows Vista-enabled mobile broadband PCs. Microsoft suggests the collection of patient data in healthcare, telemetry and fleet-management, real-time financial services, equipment and property management, and utilities management as likely targets. Microsoft will collaborate with SingTel to kick of the first project under the programme. SingTel will make its network infrastructure and resources available to participants for development and testing.
According to Martha Bejar, corporate vice president for the Communications Sector at Microsoft, "Our mission for the industry is to drive the transition to Telco 2.0, a new era of communications where service providers are delivering hundreds if not thousands of new services. Building on our investments in the Sandbox development environment, the Connected Services Accelerator Program aims to build a truly global marketplace for service creation that, working with operators, will lead to the commercialisation of a new wave of innovative services."