Microsoft Unveils Mobile Solutions at CTIA

Microsoft unveiled three additions to its mobile product lines at the CTIA Wireless 2008 event today, with much of the emphasis being placed on enabling custom mobile solutions for the enterprise.

The company has a new update to its mobile operating system called Windows Mobile 6.1. It also rolled out a new version of its Internet Explorer Web browser to work on those tiny hand-held mobile screens. Finally, Microsoft is distributing a solution that allows enterprises to better manage their mobile smartphones called System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 (Mobile Device Manager).

Windows Mobile 6.1 contains a few usability improvements, but it also integrates with Mobile Device Manager 2008 or Exchange Server 2007 SP1 to support enterprise management of mobile devices. Enterprises can use Mobile Device Manager to maintain security, file storage, encryption and virtual private networks associated with mobile smartphones.

Microsoft expects to see the first appearance Windows Mobile 6.1-based phones, as well as mobile operator networks that support the Mobile Device Manager solution, sometime in the second quarter of 2008.

Mobile Device Manager will be licensed through Microsoft's mobile operator partners. Customized solutions, offered by mobile operators as part of a new Microsoft Mobile Services Plan, will be offered through Microsoft's global partners beginning "later in 2008," according to Microsoft's press release.

Partners that have already implemented Mobile Device Manager with trial customers include "AT&T Inc., EDS, Enterprise Mobile, HP, O2, Orange, SAT Corp. and Verizon Wireless," according to Microsoft's release.

Outside of the event, blogger Todd Bishop noticed that Microsoft is not really talking about something called "ELive Mobile." It's a solution that apparently would support the delivery of entertainment across multiple devices, mobile or otherwise. Bishop saw the concept mentioned in a Microsoft job ad.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.