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Microsoft Revamps Office Communicator Mobile

The latest version enables mobile professionals to join conferences, make and receive work calls, and potentially reduce roaming costs while on the go.

Microsoft wants to make it easier for mobile workers to stay connected on the go, and it has added deeper unified communications integration to its Office Communicator Mobile software.

The program runs on Windows Mobile handsets like the Touch Diamond and Samsung Saga that tie into Microsoft's Office Communications Server. The latest version allows workers on the go to join conference calls with a few clicks. Instead of dialing in a number and passcode, users can just click on a conference invite in Outlook Mobile and be connected as an authenticated user.

One factor in mobilizing a workforce that can get overlooked is how expensive roaming charges can be, and the updated version of Microsoft's software attempts to address this.

"When you are outside of a provider's network, Communicator will not log in to a roaming network," Microsoft said in a blog post. "As soon as you are back in your provider's network, Communicator will log in automatically for you. All you have to do is select the option and Communicator will take care of the rest."

Microsoft also unveiled some of the features that will be available with the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5. One of the major additions is an improved home screen that is more finger-friendly, and Office Communicator Mobile will have a plug-in to integrate with this new user interface. Users will be able to update their presence status and see the number of ongoing conversations at a glance.

Additionally, the 6.5 version of Office Communicator Mobile will integrate with a corporate private branch exchange, or PBX, to enable users to make and receive work calls on their handsets, as well as use extension dialing. This type of service can also be found in Research In Motion's Mobile Voice System for BlackBerry handsets.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on application development. Download the report here (registration required).

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