Several free Microsoft apps will be hopping aboard Nokia's Symbian phones by the end of the year.
As described in a blog yesterday, Microsoft and Nokia will deliver the apps in the form of free updates sometime during the fourth quarter. The updates will only be available to owners of phones running Symbian Belle, the latest update to the Symbian OS, or to those who upgrade from Symbian Anna to Belle.
The mobile apps and updates scheduled to roll out this year include:
- Microsoft Lync 2010 Mobile, which offers instant messaging and Web-based meetings on the go.
- Microsoft PowerPoint Broadcast, an app that can broadcast PowerPoint presentations from a PC to a mobile device.
- Microsoft OneNote, the company's mobile note-taking app, which can sync notes with the SkyDrive online storage service.
- Microsoft Document Connection, a feature that lets users view documents and e-mail attachments stored on mobile devices and on SharePoint 2010 sites.
A second round of updates slated for early 2012 will see Microsoft OneNote add synchronization with SharePoint and Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint added as native apps.
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As Nokia prepares to leap to Windows Phone as its primary mobile OS, questions have been raised over its future focus on Symbian.
In June, the company outsourced the development and support of Symbian to consulting firm Accenture through 2016, moving over 2,800 employees as part of the package. That deal was initially announced in April, a couple of months after Nokia and Microsoft revealed their new partnership.
But Nokia CEO Stephen Elop confirmed in May that even as the company forges ahead with Windows Phone, it will continue to invest in Symbian until 2016, a point stressed in the blog.
"These updates are yet another confirmation that Nokia has not done making investments and introducing innovation into the Symbian platform," the blog noted. "There will be more updates in 2012 and more devices to come...Symbian is hugely important to our future ambitions and this latest announcement is just another example of the role that Symbian will play."