Microsoft has announced its new mobile platform, Peabody, at the 3GSM conference in Cannes.

At the same time, the first Windows 3G phone, a new iPaq and a range of new smartphones all made their first outings.

Peabody is a GSM and GPRS mobile phone platform offered under a partnership with Flextronics. It is based on Windows Mobile software and will be designed and integrated for OEMs by Flextronics.

Peabody offers mobile phone makers over 18,000 applications for building custom handsets, including video, photo and gaming options. It aim is to provide OEMS with a wide range of options so that can design phones quickly for the fast-moving market. Flextronics also announced it is also developing a family of devices based on Peabody for GSM, GPRS and EDGE networks.

Phone makers aren't the only telecom players in Microsoft's sights. The company is also targeting fixed line and wireless operators with software that helps them deliver converged voice and data services over multiple networks and devices. The Microsoft Connected Services Framework is server-based software that works with a suite of Microsoft products such as BizTalk Server, SQL Server, Windows Server and Visual Studio .Net, to offer a platform for creating, managing and delivering services, it said.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile and HTC were showing off the first 3G Windows Mobile-based phone that will be available later this year. MDA IV will offer UMTS, GPRS and WLAN services as well as Bluetooth, a Qwerty keyboard and integrated camera.

HP also had a new Windows Mobile-based device - the iPaq Mobile Messenger. It is aimed at professionals and offers wireless voice, high-speed EDGE data networking and GPS navigation.