Microsoft increases focus on Fone+ cellphone project for the poor

Microsoft has been touting its Fone+ project for a little while now, but it looks like the company is starting to step up its efforts a bit further, with the new head of Microsoft's Unlimited Potential Group, Craig Mundie, reportedly leading the charge to increase the focus on the project aimed at bringing cellphones to the poor. This isn't a case of simply handing out as many barebones handsets as possible, however. Instead, Microsoft wants to use the cellphones (which are described as a "low-to-mid-end smartphone") as an alternative to computers like the OLPC, an idea the company has been tossing around since before the Fone+ project even had a name. To make things a bit more practical, the cellphones would be paired with a dock that hooks up to TV, resulting in a system that Mundie says is "a lot cheaper than having to buy a whole separate computer." Unfortunately, while it is upping its efforts, Microsoft apparently still isn't ready to provide any sort of timeline about when we can expect to see an actual product, and Mundie adds that the company continues to "explore and look at both phone-up models and PC-down models" to make computing more accessible to the poor.

[Via Phone Scoop]