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Microsoft 'Istanbul' on the Move

A new Microsoft Office Communicator client for Windows mobile devices entered beta testing on Thursday.

The mobile client is based on the interface of Microsoft Office Communicator 2005, which was also known by the code-name "Istanbul." Microsoft shipped the desktop Office Communicator client in June. The desktop version is Microsoft's preferred client for Live Communications Server 2005, replacing Windows Messenger.

Office Communicator adds substantial functionality to Windows Messenger, especially in the areas of presence extensibility and communication through voice, video, telephony and access to Web conferencing.

In April, Microsoft promised to deliver a version of the client for mobile devices. Delivered in beta Thursday, the mobile version allows developers to integrate mobile applications with presence information in Live Communications Server. Features of the mobile Office Communicator client include IM, presence, Voice over IP and telephony integration. The Windows Mobile Communicator client will run on Smart Phones or Pocket PCs.

General availability for the mobile client is scheduled for the first half of 2006.

The desktop and mobile versions are two of the three Office Communicator editions on the drawing board. In June, Microsoft also promised to deliver a browser-based version of Office Communicator.

The browser-based version, which is similar to Outlook Web Access, will support users on locked-down computers, running unsupported operating systems or working away from their own computers.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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