Microsoft and Nokia are believed to be jointly developing a unified threat management (UTM) appliance.
The device will handle traffic running over both fixed and mobile networks and will include virtual private network protection to smartphones linking with Microsoft’s Exchange e-mail server.
Microsoft recently released Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 with “push” mobile e-mail support to allow e-mails to be automatically sent directly from Exchange to Windows Mobile-based devices, without users having to dial-up to receive them.
Both companies are fierce rivals in the mobile device operating system market, with Microsoft promoting Windows Mobile and Nokia marketing the Symbian OS.
But with the new UTM appliance, Microsoft would benefit from Nokia’s established reach in the security appliance market, and Nokia would have a new market for its solutions from enterprise users happier to work in the Windows environment.
Nokia’s existing appliances use Unix-based operating systems, but the UTM appliance under development could be run on both Windows and other operating systems.