Microsoft, Nokia Release Free Enterprise Collaboration Smartphone App
Microsoft and Nokia are setting their sights on the mobile enterprise--and BlackBerry-maker RIM--with a new smartphone business-collaboration app, dubbed Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
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, 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.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.