Microsoft and Nokia launches first alliance offering

Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the joining forces of Intel and Nokia to create applications for the mobile device. One of which is Meego, a project which merges Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo Linux-based platforms. MeeGo is designed for cross-device, cross-architecture computing and is built from the ground up for a new class of powerful computing devices.

I also mentioned that with Intel and Nokia coming together, I won’t be surprised if Microsoft will just be around the corner. True enough, Microsoft and Nokia launched the first application from their alliance around mobile productivity, Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia devices.

This new unified communications client connects directly with a company’s communications systems to streamline mobile collaboration. Owners of a number of Symbian based Nokia Eseries smartphones can download the English version today from Nokia’s Ovi Store, the easiest place to get content on their Nokia device. Communicator Mobile enables people to see their colleagues’ availability, and click to communicate with them using the best method, from IM to email, text to phone call. The names and status of colleagues are embedded directly into the devices’ contacts application, enabling people to update their own presence, start and join instant messaging sessions, and begin calls directly from the contact card.

The application is designed to make communication easier and more accessible and includes real-time presence information, single number reach support and rich instant messaging (IM) capability all with a familiar look and feel similar to the desktop version of Microsoft Office Communicator.

The launch is the first product from the alliance – announced last August – which was the first time either company had embarked on an agreement of this scope and nature. Since then, the two companies have been collaborating on the design and development of new solutions, as well as embarking on joint marketing efforts around others they already share.

This new application, available initially for Nokia E72 and Nokia E52, adds to the work Nokia is already doing in optimizing direct access to email and other personal information with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. The companies plan to deliver Communicator Mobile for Nokia pre-installed on select Nokia smartphones in the future and plan to support additional devices, including the recently announced Nokia E5.

It looks like the direction is really going towards forming alliances to produce the best products derived from the best technologies of each companies. We can expect powerful devices coming out with richer applications to flood the market soon. I just hope ease of use and security will be taken into serious considerations in all these future innovations.

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