A mobile alliance between Microsoft and Nokia has given birth to its first application.
The two companies announced on Wednesday the launch of Communicator Mobile, a Microsoft app designed to run on Nokia smartphones.
Communicator Mobile will let users of Nokia smartphones tap into their corporate directories and check the availability of colleagues to determine the best way to get in touch with them--phone, e-mail, texting, or instant messaging. The app also comes with its own built-in IM client.
Targeted for the enterprise market, Communicator Mobile uses Microsoft's Office Communications Server on the back end to connect a company's own internal communications system with the Nokia smartphones. The app is free for corporate customers who have already bought Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and the necessary client access licenses to run on each phone. Users can download the app directly from Nokia's Ovi online store.
Developed for the Nokia Eseries smartphones, Communicator Mobile will initially be available for the Nokia E72 and Nokia E52. But the handset maker plans to preinstall the app on selected Nokia phones down the line, including the newly announced Nokia E5.
"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," Ukko Lappalainen, vice president at Nokia, said in a statement. "It also meets all of the requirements for the enterprise: cost-effective to implement, secure, familiar and reliable."
Though Microsoft and Nokia compete in the mobile marketplace, the two companies have worked together on other deals in the past. Nokia already has a license from Microsoft to connect its smartphones to Exchange e-mail servers via Microsoft's ActiveSync technology. Certain Nokia smartphones also include access to mobile versions of Microsoft's Windows Live Services.
Announced last August, the latest alliance between the two gives Microsoft the opportunity to place mobile versions of Office on Nokia smartphones. For its part, Nokia sees the partnership as a way to compete in the mobile communications arena against archrival Research In Motion.