February 14, 2006 8:44 AM PST

Microsoft's corporate IM goes mobile

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Microsoft announced Tuesday at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona that its corporate instant messaging product will soon be extended to mobile devices.

The new product, called Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile, runs on the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005. The new mobile client is integrated with the desktop version of the software, allowing workers on the go to communicate via IM even when they are away from their desks.

Not only does the mobile product provide secure instant messaging, it also offers integrated voice over Internet Protocol services and "presence" features that let other people see whether or not someone is online, on the phone or out of the office.

"The new client is a key component of Microsoft's vision for unified communications, putting people at the center and enabling information workers to have access to real-time communications capabilities virtually anytime, anywhere, on any device," Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft, said in a statement released during the second full day of 3GSM activities.

Communicator Mobile is expected to be available for download for Live Communication Server customers within 60 days.

Last year, Microsoft announced that workers would also be able to access their corporate instant messaging via the Web through Office Communicator Web Access. The new tool lets employees get corporate IM from non-Windows devices. It also lets them receive messages from machines that are locked down and that don't allow new software to be installed.

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