The cat's out of the bag, in terms of Microsoft's "My Phone" branding for its Skybox phone service that it is expected to unveil officially the week of February 16.
But there's another piece of branding news that's equally interesting. It looks like Microsoft is going to brand its "Skyline" e-mail sync service with the "Outlook Live" name. That's according to some new screen shots highlighted on Neowin. The latest Windows Mobile 6.5 leaks show the My Phone (Skybox), an Outlook Live e-mail service featured prominently.
Outlook Live (Skyline) is aimed primarily at small-business customers who don't have managed e-mail solutions in place, but who are interested in consolidating their home and work e-mail accounts, according to my sources. (My Phone is the more consumer-focused backup-and-restore service Microsoft is designing to complement Windows Mobile devices.)
Here are a few more details on the forthcoming Outlook Live service that I've amassed from tipsters:
- Outlook Live will be able to push e-mail, contacts and calendar items for both personal and work accounts
- Microsoft will position Outlook Live as a competitor to RIM's Blackberry Internet Service (BIS), among others
- Outlook Live will allow users access to photos and other e-mail attachments and will be positioned as enabling users to view and edit Office documents
- Outlook Live information will be accessible via PC, Web and phones, and will be viewable in an Office Live Web portal (viewable in IE and Firefox)
- Outlook Live will enable remote wiping of phones, providing users with lost/stolen phones a way of protecting their information and quickly setting up a new phone with their contacts/data
Microsoft is planning to make Outlook Live Version 1.0 available on Windows Mobile 6.1 devices in two phases: It will provide the necessary compressed bits to consumers directly and allow OEMs to build the CAB files into ROM. Starting in March, Microsoft will make the Office Live software pieces available as part of the Adaptation Kit Upgrade (AKU) for Windows Mobile 6.1 devices, according to sources.
Microsoft is not commenting on the Skyline/Skybox/Skymarket announcements it is expected to make at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona next week. But it sounds like the Redmondians are definitely readying -- not just for announcement, but actual launch -- the first revs of its new consumer- and SMB-focused Windows Mobile services for next week....