Today at 3GSM World Congress 2006, Microsoft Corp. and its mobile operator and device-maker partners will announce a broad range of services and Windows Mobile-based devices for business customers to cost-effectively deploy mobile messaging solutions. Leveraging the integration between Direct Push technology in Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2), businesses can mobilize their employees on a unified infrastructure without the requirement to pay for additional and costly e-mail servers. This same technology is now available for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server and is also offered as a hosted service by a number of mobile operators around the world.
Cingular Wireless, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone today are going to announce free upgrades to the Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) for all their Windows Mobile 5.0 customers, enabling Direct Push functionality and providing enhanced device management and security for messaging applications.
Palm Inc. and i-Mate also reaffirmed their commitment to free MSFP upgrades.
In addition, new Windows Mobile-based devices will be unveiled today, all of which will ship with Direct Push technology:
- the HP iPAQ hw6900 Mobile Messenger
- the Gigabyte Communications g-Smart (offered by Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. in Taiwan)
- the ASUS P305 3G-enabled Smartphone
- the Fujitsu Siemens FS Pocket Loox
In addition, HTC Corp. will unveil a new product portfolio of
Windows Mobile-based devices that are Direct Push-enabled and will be made
available globally to T-Mobile and other operators beginning in the second
quarter of this year.
"Successfully addressing the mobility demands of today's business
market requires a combination of powerful networks, breadth and choice
of applications, and clear answers to business issues of usability,
return on investment and systems integration," said Andre Stark,
executive vice president of International Business Marketing at
T-Mobile. "The Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile
5.0 complements T-Mobile's successful suite of Microsoft-based solutions
with a compelling messaging product that addresses these critical
business needs while delivering mobile professionals much more than
simple mobile e-mail. In alliance with Microsoft, we have an opportunity
to strengthen our business customer portfolio and deliver another very
powerful mobile business solution."
Direct Push technology added to Windows Mobile 5.0 gives customers faster
access to all of their Microsoft Office Outlook information; just like prior
versions of Windows Mobile, it communicates directly with Microsoft Exchange
Server and Windows Small Business Server without the need for additional and
costly e-mail servers and middleware. When combined with a library of over
18,000 specialty applications, Windows Mobile phones - now offered by 42
device-makers and 100 mobile operators in 55 countries - are the premier
choice for business customers.
"Cingular has been a leader in delivering end-to-end solutions as a
trusted partner to enterprises since the inception of wireless e-mail,"
said Jeff Bradley, vice president of Business Data Services at Cingular
Wireless. "Microsoft's highly anticipated Direct Push e-mail experience
delivered in the Messaging and Security Feature Pack is a key part of
Cingular's strategy to continue to provide best-in-class wireless
solutions to our customers. The new Cingular 2125 Smartphone and 8100
series Pocket PCs - the first of what will be an array of Windows Mobile
5.0-enabled devices available from Cingular in 2006 - will be
upgradeable to the Messaging and Security Feature Pack in the first half
of this year."
According to analyst firm Gartner Dataquest, Microsoft Exchange was the
2004 market share leader in enterprise mail and calendaring software based
on new licensees, with a share of 48 percen*. By licensing Exchange Server
ActiveSync, industry partners including DataViz Inc., Motorola Inc., Nokia,
Palm, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB and Symbian Ltd. are able to
deliver a comprehensive mobile messaging solution to these customers.
The announced mobile messaging solutions can be tailored to a wide range
of business infrastructure and size requirements, from on-premise Exchange
Server deployments for organizations of all sizes, to operator-hosted
solutions for smaller businesses that prefer to utilize a hosted solution
based on the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration. All
of them combine the advantages of Windows Mobile - which extend beyond
e-mail to instant messaging, video telephony and a host of custom
line-of-business applications - with a cost-efficient and scalable server
For organizations outsourcing their business infrastructure, the hosted
messaging model is also rapidly gaining traction worldwide, with major
operators announcing the availability of professional messaging packages for
small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) based on Microsoft Solution for
Hosted Messaging and Collaboration and developed jointly with local ISPs.
T-Mobile has announced upgrades to MSFP for Windows Mobile 5.0-based devices
in its portfolio in conjunction with the availability of new professional
e-mail packages for small and medium-sized businesses based on Microsoft
Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 3.5. This will be
made available across T-Mobile's European network.
"Business customers - from the smallest entrepreneur to the largest of
enterprises - are now realizing the potential mobility brings to their
employees and customers. We're at the tipping point of seeing exponential
growth in this area, with a number of factors coming together to make this
happen - from less costly and more varied devices to wider adoption of
mobile data among mobile professionals," said Pieter Knook, senior vice
president of the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division and Communications
Sector Business at Microsoft. "Microsoft has unique business and IT assets
that we can bring to bear in the telecoms sector to open new revenue
opportunities for operators while providing customers with smart and
powerful solutions that leverage their existing computing investments."
More to come - I'm sure - later today from Microsoft's press conference.
Cheers ~ Arne