Microsoft Corp. has unveiled Windows Mobile 6, the newest version of its mobile software platform. The aim of this release if to improve usability and to add support for Microsoft Office features previously available only on PCs.
“A work force that is both mobile and connected is becoming essential for business success,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “That’s why we’re integrating innovative mobile technologies into all our key products, with Windows Mobile as the centerpiece.”
Windows Mobile 6 delivers the ability to view e-mails in their original HTML format with live links to Web and SharePoint sites, which means text and images are displayed as they would be on a PC, and are available from a corporate e-mail server such as Exchange Server 2007, from Web-based accounts such as Windows Live Hotmail or from a selection of other popular service providers.
The software also includes Windows Live for Windows Mobile, which provides customers with a set of Windows Live services. For example, now through Windows Live Messenger, people can chat with more than one person at one time, express themselves through animated figures, quickly send a file or image, or record and send voice notes. The Windows Live for Windows Mobile client also provides web search, e-mail, and blogging features.
The newest version of the platform offers a Microsoft Office system experience in the mobile versions of Office Outlook, Office Word, Office Excel and Office PowerPoint by bringing capabilities once available only on the PC versions of these products to the small screen. This allows users to view, navigate and edit Word documents and Excel spreadsheets in their original formatting, without affecting tables, images or text, and to view PowerPoint presentations on their device.
Users will also benefit of a brand new e-mail management and setup feature. New one-click options have been added, including Reply All, setting a flag, moving a message to a subfolder, and Delete. Users can set an automatic out-of-office reply while on the road when using a Windows Mobile 6 powered device and Exchange Server 2007.
A new calendar bar gives users the ability to see at a glance the day or week ahead and quickly determine open time on their schedules. With Exchange Server 2007, they can see who is attending a meeting and forward or reply to meeting requests.
All Windows Mobile 6 powered devices include Direct Push Technology for up-to-date e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization of Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts through Microsoft Exchange Server. Windows Mobile 6 also offers a set of important device security and management features that include the capability to remotely wipe all data from a device should it be lost or stolen, helping ensure that confidential information remains that way.
The first Windows Mobile 6 devices will be avaialble by the second quarter of this year. In Europe, Orange plans to deliver the SPV E650 smartphone from HTC, and in Japan, SoftBank Mobile Corp. will offer new devices from Toshiba and HTC. In in the United States, the T-Mobile Dash will be updated with Windows Mobile 6 and be available in the coming months with the new operating system. Current T-Mobile Dash owners will also be able to upgrade existing devices with Windows Mobile 5.0 to Windows Mobile 6.
A new Internet sharing feature will be available, making use of a Windows Mobile 6 powered smartphone as a laptop’s high-speed modem easier, and working with either a Bluetooth wireless or cable connection.
Windows Mobile 6 also allows for operators and device-makers to integrate a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) solution into devices they are building. Microsoft says British Telecom in Europe, as well as HP, will be among the first to provide smartphones with new VoIP offerings for their business customers.