Mobile World Congress: Editors' Picks

BARCELONA ( TheStreet) -- It might not be as revered stateside as Vegas' Consumer Electronics Show, but this week's Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Spain served as a launch pad for a few big mobile industry announcements.

Some firms, like Microsoft ( MSFT) and Research In Motion ( RIMM), announced game-changing mobile strategies. Sony Ericsson and HTC unveiled smartphones that could compete well against Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone. And Eric Schmidt, Google's ( GOOG) CEO, reconfirmed his company's commitment to mobile applications.

As the show wraps, we bring you a few of the highlights.

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Microsoft Windows Phone 7

Hoping to make gains in the game of smartphone catch-up it is playing with Apple and RIM, Microsoft finally debuted its Windows Phone 7. Naming H-P ( HPQ), HTC and Samsung as a few of its OEM partners, Microsoft's phone, due out before the holiday season, will integrate Xbox Live and Zune software and should be able to run big applications like Outlook and Word.

Research In Motion's WebKit Operating System

BlackBerries are still selling well to folks who need a hardy e-mail system on their phone, but to keep its edge over the iPhone's rapidly-gaining market share, RIM needs a more web- and apps-friendly offering. On Tuesday, RIM previewed its new, faster internet browser, which should be able to deliver better web browsing and more downloadable applications.

Skype on Verizon Wireless

Verizon ( VZ) announced that Skype's largely free calling service -- typically used by computer users to bypass telco charges -- would be available on nine of its phones next month. The free app, called Skype Mobile, will be available for download on at least four BlackBerries, two Motorola ( MOT) phones, and HTC's Eris. Time talked on Skype calls won't count against cellular minutes.

Sony Ericsson's Xperia X10 Mini, Mini Pro

Troubled smartphone maker Sony Ericsson, which posted a $1.1 billion loss last year, kicked off an attempt to grab some of the U.S. smartphone market by announcing two tiny Android touchscreen phones -- the X10 mini (about half the size of an iPhone) and the mini pro. Neither a service provider partnership nor prices were announced, but the small models will most likely sell via AT&T.

LG X 120 Netbook

Perhaps surprisingly, netbooks aren't going away any time soon. According to research from Pricegrabber.com, the percentage of consumers who own one jumped to 15% from 10% last year. H-P, Samsung and LG -- whose X 120 netbook is shown above -- all showed off their lightweight, web-savvy mini-laptops.

-- Written by Meredith Longo in New York

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