Microsoft and Nokia announced today "an alliance that is set to deliver a groundbreaking, enterprise-grade solution for mobile productivity" on Nokia phones.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will begin collaborating immediately on the design, development and marketing of productivity solutions for the mobile professional, bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia’s Symbian devices. These solutions will be available for a broad range of Nokia smartphones starting with the company’s business-optimized range, Nokia Eseries. The two companies will also market these solutions to businesses, carriers and individuals.
This announcement builds on the existing work Nokia is doing by optimizing access to e-mail and other personal information with Exchange ActiveSync. Next year, Nokia intends to start shipping Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on its smartphones, followed by other Office applications and related software and services in the future. These will include:
- The ability to view, edit, create and share Office documents on more devices in more places with mobile-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneNote
- Enterprise instant messaging and presence, and optimized conferencing and collaboration experience with Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile
- Mobile access to intranet and extranet portals built on Microsoft SharePoint Server
- Enterprise device management with Microsoft System Center
Nokia is the leading worldwide provider of smartphones and Microsoft’s own smartphone efforts with Windows Mobile are not sufficient for them to want to shut out Nokia business users in order to maintain an exclusive for their own products.
Microsoft is rolling out the PR for Office 2010 (formerly Office 14) and Exchange 2010:
We’re announcing that Microsoft will begin releasing new versions of Office-related products this year. Exchange 2010 will be the first product in this lineup, entering beta for customers to download today. Exchange 2010 will become available in the second half of 2009. Office 2010 — including Office Web applications, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 — will enter a technical preview in the third quarter of 2009 and will release to manufacturing in the first half of 2010.
So what goodies does Microsoft have for users of Exchange 2010 and Office 2010 (which reportedly will have both 32 and 64-bit versions)? Well, that’s a bit hard to discern amidst the flummery, but beyond the improved Outlook Web Access Webmail client, one other theme seems clear:
IT professionals will have more flexibility and choice to simplify deployment and lower management costs, while maintaining control. For example, Exchange 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 give users the same value whether deployed on-premises, as a service from Microsoft and industry partners, or a mix of both.
As for the Exchange 2010 beta:
Exchange 2010 is part of the next wave of Microsoft Office-related products and is the first server in a new generation of Microsoft server technology built from the ground up to work on-premises and as an online service. This release of Exchange 2010 introduces a new integrated e-mail archive and features to help reduce costs and improve the user experience. A public beta of the server is available for download starting today at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010.
There is a full laundry list of new Exchange 2010 features at the link, not a few of which are rather obscure.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced an open beta of BizTalk Server 2009 (formerly BizTalk Server 2006 R3) as well as the the general availability of BizTalk RFID Mobile and the BizTalk RFID Standards Pack:
Today at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration Summit, Microsoft Corp. announced the general availability of BizTalk RFID Mobile and the BizTalk RFID Standards Pack, as well as the first public beta of BizTalk Server 2009 for download.
With the public beta release of BizTalk Server 2009, Microsoft is delivering the first customer preview of the multirelease road map announced in September 2008 and is giving customers the first look of the feature-complete download. BizTalk Server 2009 supports the latest Microsoft application platform technologies, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. BizTalk Server 2009 also delivers expanded new connectivity options including new integration with Oracle Corp.’s E-Business Suite, as well as updated platform support for the most recent versions of IBM Corp.’s Customer Information Control System (CICS), Information Management System (IMS), DB2, DB2/400, DB2 Universal Database and WebSphere MQ.
BizTalk Server 2009 also delivers improved scalability and reliability through support for SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtualization and enhanced failover clustering. It provides significant new enhancements to both individual and team productivity by enabling new interoperability with Microsoft’s application life-cycle management (ALM) solution: Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server. This allows development teams to utilize the integrated source control, bug tracking, team development support, Project Server integration, and support for automating builds via MSBuild for a more seamless development and testing experience.
In other words, BizTalk Server 2009 will be fully caught up with the latest Microsoft operating systems, servers, and tools as well as popular 3rd party software. The beta is available for download at Microsoft Connect.
Today Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS 2008), their bundles of server software for small and medium businesses (SMB):
Large enterprises typically have specialists on staff with the technical knowledge, budgets and time needed to manage IT environments — a luxury small and midsize businesses can rarely afford. Based on feedback directly from customers, SBS and EBS greatly help reduce the setup and ongoing management of IT, while enabling new scenarios to enhance end-user productivity, as well as saving companies money on license costs.
To ease customer concerns about the initial investment cost of rolling out new infrastructure technology, Microsoft has developed licensing and financing options that allow flexible payment terms from 24 months to 60 months. Both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 are priced significantly less for qualified customers than it would cost to separately purchase products similar to those included in SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, and Microsoft is offering financing for the hardware, software and partner professional services.
Partners are a big part of sales to SMB, often with VARs selling turnkey industry specific software riding on top, so Microsoft is courting them heavily (as usual) as well as software and hardware developers. There are more details on the contents of the various flavors of these offerings in our earlier post on the subject or at the homepage for Microsoft’s Essential Server Solutions which is Microsoft’s new umbrella term covering SMB server products.