Motorola has announced the Moto Q, a stylish mobile communicator powered by Microsoft software. The Moto Q is designed to compete with RIM's Blackberry devices, combining the features of a traditional mobile phone with email capability. Modelled on Motorola's stylish Razr handset, the Moto Q is expected to be available in the first quarter of next year, and will pose a serious challenge for RIM when it arrives.

Like RIM's Blackberry, the Moto Q features thumb-wheel navigation but Motorola claimed it was “50 per cent thinner than its top competitors” despite building in additional features including a 1.3 mega-pixel camera and flash.

The Moto Q is also one of the first devices to use the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Mobile software - a move that ensures it will hook up easily to corporate email systems built around Microsoft's Exchange 2003 and Outlook email software.