Microsoft ports Office apps to Nokia's Symbian OS

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Microsoft ports Office apps to Nokia's Symbian OS

Ian Grant

Microsoft and Nokia today announced an alliance that will see MS Office products such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote ported to Nokia's business-oriented Eseries mobile phones.

The two firms will start porting the applications to the Symbian operating system platform immediately, with commercial release next year.

"With more than 200 million smartphone customers globally, Nokia is the world's largest smartphone manufacturer and a natural partner for us," said Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's business division.

Nokia's executive vice-president for devices, Kai Öistämö, described the deal as "a shared vision for the future of mobile productivity".

The deal builds on a 2007 arrangement to run Windows Live on Nokia phones. It also continues Nokia's work to optimise access to e-mail and other personal information with Exchange ActiveSync.

Öistämö said Nokia intends to start shipping Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on its smartphones from next year. Other Office applications and related software and services in the future will follow.

These will include:

• The ability to view, edit, create and share Office documents on more devices in more places with mobile-optimised versions of Office applications

• Enterprise-class instant messaging and presence, and optimised conferencing and collaboration with Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile

• Mobile access to intranet and extranet portals built on Microsoft SharePoint Server

• Enterprise device management with Microsoft System Center

Stephen Drake, vice-president of mobility and telecoms at market analyst IDC, said the mobile worker population would reach one billion worldwide in 2011.

Market analyst Gartner today reported Windows Mobile's market share dropped year-on-year to 9% in the second quarter of 2009. According to Gartner, Nokia holds 51% of the smartphone market, down from 57% a year ago, having lost market share to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platforms.

There were also unconfirmed reports that Nokia is hedging its bets on Symbian as it was strengthening a previous alliance with Intel to develop the open source Maemo mobile operating system.


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