Microsoft Corp. and some of its mobile operator and device-maker partners announced a range of services and Windows Mobile-based devices for business customers to 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 have all announced 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 were unveiled during the 3GSM Congress in Barcelona, Spain: 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, and the Fujitsu Siemens FS Pocket Loox.
In addition, HTC Corp. has unveiled 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.
Direct Push technology added to Windows Mobile 5.0 gives customers faster access to all of their Microsoft Office Outlook information. It communicates directly with Microsoft Exchange Server and Windows Small Business Server without the need for additional e-mail servers and middleware.
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 architecture.
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.