Microsoft will unwrap a new version of its Windows Mobile OS at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona next week that promises to take advantage of features in Exchange Server 2007 that provide a richer e-mail experience on devices.
The new OS, which was formerly code-named Crossbow, will give users of devices supporting the OS a visual experience for e-mail that is similar to the one they have on PCs, said John Starkweather, a group product manager at Microsoft.
Some of the new features Microsoft added to Exchange Server 2007, which was released in December, will provide this new user experience, he said. For example, Microsoft allows users to search through a greater number of e-mail messages on devices and also will allow a remote user, even without administrator privileges, to wipe all Exchange Server-fed data from a device if it is lost or stolen. Windows Mobile 6 is the first mobile OS that will enable devices to take advantage of these features, Starkweather said.
The OS also lets users reply to meeting requests made in Microsoft Outlook in various ways from their mobile devices, another feature that Exchange enables on the back end. Currently, when a user receives a meeting request served up from Exchange on a device, the user can only reply by accepting or declining the invitation. With Windows Mobile 6, a user can send an e-mail reply to the sender of the request or forward the message to someone else from their device, he said.
In addition, Windows Mobile 6 takes advantage of direct e-mail push technology available in Exchange 2007 to receive and send e-mail faster and more efficiently, Starkweather said.
Its links to Exchange Server 2007 are not the only e-mail enhancements Windows Mobile 6 provides. The OS also includes the ability for users to view see e-mail and links in those e-mail messages in their original rich HTML format, Starkweather said. This is true through e-mail served up on a corporate e-mail server through Exchange or Web-based e-mail such as Windows Live, Yahoo Mail or Google’s Gmail.
Microsoft hardware partners that will have new devices supporting Windows Mobile 6 this year include Toshiba, Lenovo Group, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics. There are 140 Windows Mobile phones available today, and more than 115 mobile operators support the platform worldwide.