With all the hoopla around Microsoft's latest revelations regarding Windows Phone 7, it's not surprising that a Windows Mobile 6.x announcement last week got little attention.
Microsoft quietly made available for Windows Mobile 6.1 phone customers an update to Outlook Mobile that it is calling "Outlook Mobile Update 1.0."
Outlook Mobile 1.0 introduces an over-the-air update capability to Outlook Mobile for Windows Phone 6.1 users. It also provides those users with a number of Exchange Server 2010 capabilities, including Conversation View, Free/Busy lookup, SMS Sync and enhanced voice mail view, according to company officials. Other new features enabled in the Outlook Mobile Update 1.0 release include, according to the a Microsoft spokesperson, "a new user interface with a quick actions bar, easy folder changing, quick access to search, and setting server side rules for always moving a conversation."
These new features are only available to Windows Phone customers who are connected to Exchange 2010, not an earlier version of Microsoft's Exchange Server, as they require the latest version of Exchange ActiveSync, the spokesperson noted.
"Windows Phone devices with Windows Mobile 6.5 running on them already have Conversations View, Free/Busy lookup, Enhanced voice mail view, etc.) available on them," the spokesperson added.
Outlook Mobile is Microsoft's productivity suite tailored to run on smartphones. Microsoft is working on an Office Mobile 2010 release, which is expected to be available to customers running Windows Mobile 6.x by June. Microsoft also is going to provide Office access for a variety of mobile platforms with its Office Web Apps release, which also is due this summer.
Microsoft plans to release an updated version of Office Mobile that will work on Windows Phone 7 devices, company officials have said, which isn't too surprising, given Windows Mobile 6.x applications are incompatible with the Windows Phone 7 platform. Microsoft has not provided a date as to when the Windows Phone 7 version of Office Mobile will be available.