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Microsoft Touts UC Apps On Windows Phone

Mobile versions of SharePhone and Lync used with Windows Phone Mango come close to matching the desktop experience, a Microsoft executive says.

7 Hottest Features In Windows Phone 7 Mango
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The upgraded version of the Windows Phone 7 operating system being rolled out by smartphone makers and carriers comes closest to matching the desktop user experience for MIcrosoft unified communications tools such as Lync and SharePoint, a Microsoft mobile technology expert told attendees at an industry conference in Silicon Valley.

"This isn't little SharePoint, this isn't a copy of SharePoint. You don't lose any capabilities. And this isn't a subset of capabilities of Lync. This is Lync for your phone," Glenn Gerlach, senior mobility strategist, told the audience at the Sprint Open Solutions Conference last week in Santa Clara, Calif. The wireless carrier hosted the three-day event for application developers and others.

Gerlach said Windows Phone 7.5, code-named Mango, features fully-functioning versions of Lync for instant messaging, VoIP, and videoconferencing, SharePoint for collaboration, as well as Microsoft Office Mobile, the smartphone version of Office 365. The only difference in these phone apps from their desktop counterparts are differences related to their form factors, he said in an interview following his presentation.

[ Learn more about Mango. Read 6 Great Windows Phone Mango Features For Business. ]

A person using SharePoint on their smartphone can view, download, edit, and return SharePoint documents just as they would on a desktop, he said. A worker can board a plane preparing to make a PowerPoint presentation at her destination. During the flight, co-workers may update the slide deck with new pricing or product specifications. Upon landing, the traveler can download the PowerPoint to her WP7 phone and present the latest version to the prospective customer.

"The high function usability of SharePoint and the things that people who buy SharePoint for are supported in the device," Gerlach said.

Mango also supports Information Rights Management protection in UC programs, he added, which addresses smartphone security, particularly by preventing proprietary company documents from being copied, edited, forwarded, or saved. The point is that while documents can be protected behind the corporate firewall, they can become less secure when placed on mobile devices outside of the network.

"You have now introduced this layer of risk into that information management. [Now] you have a set of rules that apply regardless of the device ... the rules are sustained," Gerlach explained.

While Microsoft has been building the capabilities of SharePoint, Lync, Office 365, and other platforms into desktop computers, the work force has changed. One business customer told Gerlach that 80% of his employees have mobility needs.

"You've got all this infrastructure capability on the desktop, but no one's sitting at their desk so pushing this capability out to the device allows them to still remain part of that global, if you will, community of people," he said.

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