Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced a forthcoming beta of its Microsoft Office Live Communications Server client for Microsoft Windows Mobile devices. This mobile client beta is expected to be released in the second half of this year and will support IM on Windows Mobile 5.0 devices including devices that use the Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone mobile operating systems.
In addition, Microsoft and IBM announced plans Tuesday to extend their respective enterprise instant messaging clients to Research In Motion Ltd.s BlackBerry device.
Long-term plans call for Microsoft to add full LCS client capabilities to the mobile client, including video and Web conferencing and team collaboration, though Microsoft officials said those technologies are dependent on improving mobile phone networks and gave no timetable for availability.
But Microsoft has formed partnership with a number of mobile network equipment and infrastructure vendors including Radvision Ltd., Speakanet A/S, Aepona Ltd., Sonim SA, NewStep Networks, BridgePort Networks Inc., Sylantro Systems Corp. and BroadSoft Inc.
On the client front, RIM plans to support both the LCS 2005 client and the Lotus Instant Messaging client on BlackBerry devices by the end of this year. RIM will offer a trial of the LCS client by September and is demonstrating a trial of the Lotus IM client at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando, Fla., this week.
RIM also announced that it is working with Novell Inc. to bring GroupWise Messenger to BlackBerry. Additional information on availability will be provided at a later date, RIM officials said.
Microsoft has also signed partnership agreements with other mobile client technology developers including Fujitsu Ltd., Followap, MessageVine Inc., PDAapps Inc., Fenestrae Inc. and Rivotek Inc.
IBMs Lotus IM client already runs on mobile devices that use the Pocket PC, Palm and Symbian operating systems.