Nokia and Microsoft have launched a free unified communications client, the first product of an alliance against BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.
Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia handsets, a version specifically tailored to the Finnish manufacturer's phones, was launched on Wednesday. The application lets people sign into their corporate communications systems from their handsets. It gives them the ability to see which of their colleagues are available and how best to contact them — via email, instant messaging, text or phone call — depending on which is possible at the time.
People can also set their own presence status, so others can see their availability.
"This application really provides a much more efficient way to work with others, as you can see if someone is busy or available, and the best way to start a conversation with them," Nokia vice president Ukko Lappalainen said in a joint statement. "It also meets all of the requirements for enterprise: cost-effective to implement, secure, familiar and reliable."
Nokia and Microsoft formed their alliance in August 2009, promising to create a "formidable challenge" for Research in Motion (RIM), whose BlackBerry devices are the market leader in enterprise smartphones.
"Our alliance with Nokia aims to bring the Office productivity experience to the millions of people using Nokia smartphones around the world," Microsoft general manager Kirt Debique said in the statement. "With the arrival of Communicator Mobile for Nokia today, we have a great start to fulfilling our joint vision."
Microsoft Communicator Mobile, which was already available to users of Windows Mobile handsets, is now being offered to Nokia E72 and E52 users through the Ovi Store. According to Nokia and Microsoft, the app will be pre-installed on "select Nokia smartphones in the future", with devices including the upcoming E5 set for support.