Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.0 will launch next week with a mobile version of Office - whether handset makers like it or not.
Business users will welcome the operating system's mobile versions of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but smartphone makers who want to use the limited storage for other features than Office may be less keen. John Starkwether, a product manager in the mobile and embedded devices division at Microsoft, suggested that if a vendor really wants to exclude Office from the operating system, an accommodation might be possible.
Other Additions to the mobile OS include Microsoft's Direct Push Technology with automatic synchronisation of Outlook calendars, tasks, and contacts using Exchange Server. the device also allows mobile network managers to remotely wipe the data from a device should it be lost or stolen. Other security features include certificate options and storage card encryption.
Business users will also be pleased with the inclusion of mobile versions of the .Net Compact Framework and SQL Server to access a company's standard line of business applications remotely.
The Office applications appear to be the most robust to date for the limited capacities of a mobile phone - most obvious omission being spellchecking in Word. though, is not included. Email viewing will be easier on the eye with formatting, tables, and pictures viewable as originally generated.
One-click options for email, such as "reply all", moving a message to a subfolder and "delete" have been added to make email easier to use on a small device.
Windows Vista users on the desktop will be able to swap music, pictures, movies and Outlook information between the Vista PC and the mobile device.
Windows Live will integrate mail, messenger, search, contacts, and spaces.
Call history is now placed inside the individual contact card.
Devices with Windows Mobile 6.0 will ship worldwide in the second quarter.
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