Microsoft and Nokia to bring Office Mobile, Communicator to Symbian phones

Summary:Microsoft and Nokia are working together to port Microsoft Office Mobile, Communicator Mobile and other Microsoft services to select Nokia phones running the Symbian operating system, the pair announced on August 12.

Microsoft and Nokia are working together to port Microsoft Office Mobile, Communicator Mobile and other Microsoft services to select Nokia phones running the Symbian operating system, the pair announced on August 12.

Nokia is planning to offer to its Nokia E Series phone users a version of Office Mobile; a version of Office Communicator Mobile (Microsoft's corporate instant messaging service for mobile devices), System Center device management service and other Microsoft collaboration services.

The E Series are just the first phones to which Nokia plans to bring the Microsoft services; it will expand availability across its portfolio to other Nokia Symbian phones over time.

Microsoft's Office Mobile and Office Communicator products currently run only on Windows Mobile phones. Nokia is not planning to offer any Windows Mobile devices, Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Devices Kai Öistämö said during a call with press and analysts on Wednesday. The pair did not share a timetable as to when the Symbian ports of these products would be done or any development details regarding how they will be ported from Windows Mobile to Symbian.

Update: The only product to which there's a timetable commitment from the pair is Office Communicator for Mobile. Microsoft and Nokia said that will be on Nokia E Series phones some time in 2010. When I asked Microsoft and Nokia officials for details about how they plan to get Office Mobile and System Center Device Manager on the Symbian operating system, officials had no information to share. It sounded like the two have a roadmap but nothing more at this point. They had nothing to say about how and if the Symbian Silverlight port would figure into the development plans or even whether Office Mobile would need to be ported vs. rewritten to get it on Symbian.

Microsoft and Nokia already have distribution deals around Windows Live Services, Silverlight and Exchange ActiveSync for Nokia phones.

The next version of Office Mobile for Windows Mobile is in development. Microsoft still has yet to deliver a widescale test build of it, but it is expected to be finalized in 2010.

Microsoft also has been working on another version of Office called Office Web Apps, which will allow users to view and annotate Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents via Internet Explorer, Apple's Safari, and Firefox. The Microsoft-Nokia deal announced today has nothing to do with this Web-based version of Office, which also is due in 2010.

Topics: Collaboration, Microsoft, Mobility, Nokia, Software

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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