Microsoft has updated its mobile operating system, adding greater support for collaborative working.
Handheld devices using Windows Mobile 6.0 will be able to link directly to Microsoft's Sharepoint collaboration server.
Jason Langridge, mobility business manager in Microsoft's Mobile and Embedded Devices division, said, "Using Microsoft Exchange Active Synch, you will be able to get access to Sharepoint without using a virtual private network."
Version 6.0 also allows users to view e-mails in HTML format. Messages can contain links to the web and Sharepoint sites, enabling text and images to be displayed on a handheld as they would be on a PC.
Unlike the previous version, the updated mobile operating system includes Mobile Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Microsoft said users would be able to view and edit Office documents on the screen of a smartphone in the original formatting, without affecting the way tables, images or text are presented.
For businesses looking to develop their own mobile applications, Langridge said Microsoft had embedded the .net Compact Framework programming interfaces and SQL Server database into Windows Mobile 6.0. This removes the need for application developers to deploy .net and SQL Server with their mobile applications.
All Windows Mobile 6.0 devices include Direct Push Technology for "always up-to-date" e-mail delivery and automatic synchronisation of Outlook calendars and contacts through Microsoft Exchange Server.
In terms of security and management, the operating system offers system administrators the ability to wipe all data from a device remotely should it be lost or stolen. Memory cards on Windows Mobile 6.0 smartphones can be encrypted to hinder data theft if the phone falls into the wrong hands.
The system also supports Information Rights Management, which can be used to ensure documents can only be accessed by authorised users.
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