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Next Windows Mobile: “Crossbow”

Microsoft has confirmed that the next version of Windows Mobile is code-named “Crossbow”. Computerworld writes that Crossbow will have strong links with Office 2007 and Exchange 12. It will also feature a mobile version of Office Communicator (the desktop version of the enterprise IM can connect to AIM, MSN and Yahoo IM networks).

Microsoft is hoping to nudge BlackBerry aside on costs and convenience for administrators. Knook estimates an enterprise-deploying mobile e-mail with 20,000 users could save $1.5 million in software purchases alone, plus additional costs on licensing over BlackBerry, he said.

Near the end of 2005, Microsoft held a 16% share in the worldwide mobile operating system market, compared to 63% for Symbian, 10% for Access Co.’s PalmSource, 7% for Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and 4.5% for others, including Linux-based ones.

Crossbow should be available to device manufacturers in the last quarter of this year, and should take 6-12 months to deploy. It is the last version to be based on the old Windows CE 4.2 kernel. The next version, “Photon”, will be based on CE 5 (code-named “Yamazaki”).
(via Mobileread > Findory)

A few days ago, a Google cache copy of a Microsoft presentation was found to contain these details of Crossbow and Photon:

“Crossbow” (Q4 ‘06)
- Great mobile messaging
- Advanced Business and Enterprise propositions
- Strengthened phone experience
- Faster, easier application development and distribution
- Q1/Q2 ‘07 Marketing Launch

“Photon” (Q4 ‘07)
- New, Flexible Shell
- Modular Containers
- “Yamazaki” CE kernel
- Q1/Q2 ’08 Marketing Launch

UPDATE: Turns out you won’t need to wait for Crossbow to get Communicator Mobile, since Microsoft went ahead and released it today. Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile is available for free to all Live Communications Server 2005 users with a Client Access License. It requires a Windows Mobile 2003 or 5.0 device with a data connection, and wi-fi is required on Mobile 5.0 to get VoIP on Communicator. Very sweet.

If you don’t have one of the compatible devices, but do have a mobile device with an internet connection and Live Communications Server, you still have the option of using Office Communicator Web Access.
(via Graham Tyler)

April 25th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Mobile, General | no comments

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