Microsoft to announce new phone software
Microsoft Corp., trying to get more companies to use Windows Mobile phones, is introducing new server software for managing the devices, and revealing a relationship with a startup that specializes in rolling out mobile phones inside businesses.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, is expected to announce the new "Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008" server product Tuesday morning at the Cellular Technology Industry Association convention in San Francisco.
Microsoft also will disclose that it helped form a company, Enterprise Mobile Inc. of Watertown, Mass., that helps companies deploy Windows Mobile phones. Microsoft has a financial stake in the company, acknowledged Scott Horn, general manager of Microsoft's mobile communications business, declining to give details.
Enterprise Mobile, founded by industry veteran Mort Rosenthal, started working in conjunction with the Microsoft sales force in July, Horn said.
"We'll have our regular sales force that calls on all the companies around the country, and whenever they find a customer who is very interested in deploying (Windows Mobile devices), they'll funnel them through to Enterprise Mobile to help get it going," Horn said.
Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system is used by a variety of mobile device makers. The company's competitors include market leader Symbian, and Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry devices.
The company says the new server product will be available in the second quarter of next year. It won't replace Microsoft Exchange in serving e-mail to devices.
It will focus instead on aspects such as device management and security settings. Microsoft isn't yet disclosing pricing for the server software.
In other news at the convention, Medio Systems said it has signed a deal to provide mobile search and advertising technologies to CBS, including its CBS Sports Mobile and CBS Mobile News offerings. Seattle-based Medio, which provides search technology to Verizon, T-Mobile and Telus, raised $30 million in venture funding last year.
P-I reporter Todd Bishop can be reached at 206-448-8221 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his Microsoft blog at blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft.