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Microsoft to add OneNote and SharePoint clients to next Office Mobile release?

At last: Some hints about what Microsoft could be working on in the Office Mobile 2010 space. Courtesy of blogger Stephen Chapman, there's a mockup of a next-generation screenshot that shows Microsoft may be adding OneNote and SharePoint clients to its mobile Office suite.

Microsoft has been totally mum on what it is planning for the Office Mobile 2010 release and when that product may go live. (In fact, I tried asking again this week to no avail.)

But blogger Stephen Chapman -- formerly of UXEvangelist and now Microsoft Kitchen fame -- has unearthed a Microsoft presentation from August 2009 about "Office Mobile 7" that provides new hints.

Office Mobile is a mini version of Microsoft Office that is tailored to run on Windows Mobile phones. It is not the same as Office Web Apps (even though Office Web Apps also are going to be able to run on unspecified phones from Microsoft and other vendors). Microsoft hasn't released a new version of Office Mobile since 2007. Company officials said there is a new version in the works but have declined repeatedly to say when that version will go to beta testers or be released in final form.

The most recent version of Office Mobile is Version 6.1. It includes mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. (Update: And a rudimentary version of OneNote that syncs with OneNote on the desktop, as a Talkback poster noted.)

According to a mock-up of Office Mobile 2010 which Chapman is featuring on his site (and which I've embedded in this post, above), Microsoft is planning to include mobile versions of its OneNote note-taking app and its SharePoint collaboration products to the next Office Mobile suite. I'd think the SharePoint Mobile mentioned on Chapman's site could provide users access to SharePoint Server 2010's enterprise social networking, content management and other collaborative tools. The slide indicates that Office Mobile 2010 will be customized to work on Windows Mobile 7, the version of Microsoft's mobile OS expected to be available by the end of 2010.

If Microsoft follows through with this plan, that will help the company -- at least to some degree -- differentiate Office Mobile from Office Web Apps. Office Web Apps, Microsoft's forthcoming Web-ified suite of productivity apps, includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote (but not SharePoint). Office Mobile is currently preloaded on a number of Windows Mobile phones by the carriers. It also is a natural for Microsoft's just-launched Windows Marketplace for Mobile app store.

Microsoft announced earlier this week that the company is planning to field a number of new distribution vehicles for Office 2010, including an "Office Starter" version that replaces Microsoft's Works product; a Product Key Card for unlocking and/or upgrading to versions of Office 2010 that come preloaded on new PCs; and a streaming/virtualized Click-to-Run offering.

Office 2010 should be launching in May/June 2010, Microsoft officials told the company's reseller partners earlier this year.

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