Microsoft, Nokia Release Collaboration Smartphone App

Handheld-giant Nokia and Microsoft, the world's largest software company, on Tuesday announced the first fruit of their recent mobile-productivity pact: Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia handhelds and the Symbian platform.

Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia Diagram

Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia, which is initially available free of charge in English for Nokia's E52 and E72 devices via the Nokia Ovi mobile software store, is an enterprise collaboration tool that connects directly with Microsoft Exchange corporate systems. More specifically, the new app lets users view colleagues' status and availability and then click to contact them via various methods including IM, e-mail, text and voice. Colleagues' names and statuses are listed in users' contact applications, so they can update their own presence, initiate or join in on existing IM sessions, and place new calls from that central location.

The announcement is aimed directly at BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) and its enterprise users. RIM currently offers a variety of comparable collaboration tools for BlackBerry deployments in Microsoft Exchange environments, such as its BlackBerry client for Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS). And the new Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia brings much of the same functionality to Nokia smartphone users.

"This application really provides a much more efficient way to work with others, as you can see if someone is busy or available and the best way to start a conversation with them," said Ukko Lappalainen, vice president at Nokia, in a press release. "It also meets all of the requirements for the enterprise: cost-effective to implement, secure, familiar and reliable."

The Nokia/Microsoft pact was first announced last August, and Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia is just the first product the companies plan to release for the enterprise market in the coming months and years.

Additional device support for handhelds including Nokia's new E5 device is expected in the near future. And Nokia plans to pre-install the client on select handhelds, as well.

Visit Microsoft's website for additional information.

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