Microsoft, Nokia Launch Mobile Communications App

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2010-05-05

Microsoft and Nokia announced the launch of Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia devices, touted by both companies as the first release from their mobile-productivity alliance, on May 5. The application serves as a unified communications client that links an enterprise's communications systems, allowing users of Nokia Eseries smartphones to check on colleagues' availability and then communicate with them via e-mail, text, phone call or instant message.

The application, which can be downloaded from Nokia's Ovi Store, is available for the Nokia E72 and E52, with support planned for additional devices including the E5. Status updates, instant-messaging sessions, and calls can all be managed through the phones' "Contacts" application.

"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," Ukko Lappalainen, vice president at Nokia, wrote in a May 5 statement. "It also meets all the requirements for enterprise: cost effective to implement, secure, familiar and reliable."

Microsoft's mobile productivity alliance with Nokia extends back to August 2009, when the companies announced a partnership that would see mobile versions of Microsoft Office applications pre-loaded onto Nokia smartphones, starting with the Nokia Eseries. At the time of the announcement, the companies' executives insisted that the partnership would in no way blunt competition between their respective smartphone operating systems.

Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft Business Division, referred to the partnership as "a long-term relationship for enterprise-grade solutions for mobile productivity." Plans included not only a cross-platform deal for a mobile version of Office, but also management and collaboration software such as Microsoft Sharepoint. In addition, Nokia has been working to optimize Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for its devices, allowing more streamlined direct access to email and personal information.

A May 5 press release issued by both companies alludes to more "new solutions" currently in development under the alliance.

"Our alliance with Nokia aims to bring the Office productivity experience to the millions of people using Nokia smartphones around the world," Kirt Debique, General Manager at Microsoft, wrote in a May 5 statement. "With the arrival of Communicator Mobile for Nokia today, we have a great start to fulfilling our joint vision."

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