The focus of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile Development has always been much more on the enterprise than the consumer. They have developed some really cool software which we don’t necessarily hear about or appreciate.
One such package is the Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 client, part of the Microsoftâ€™s Unified Communications ecosystem. The software is basically a replacement for your office switchboard, but much better, enabling communication and ‘presence’ anywhere you are.
Office Communicator Mobile allowed a user to send and receive instant messages, receive and publish presence (location, availability, etc), and search for contacts in the enterpriseâ€™s address book.
Presence (like twitter’s “what am I doing now” model) is important for colleagues in for example being able to device if and how to communicate with you. With Office Communicator Mobile when you are on the road, if you are connected on your mobile device, it is useful for your contacts to know this before contacting you; for example, this helps people decide to use voice instead of IM, as they know you might be driving. Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 publishes a specific presence state that shows your presence as on a mobile device (available on mobile, or busy on mobile, etcâ€¦). It also publishes the device capabilities, so you donâ€™t receive application sharing invites, for example.
Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 also features Single-number Reach, which is a function of Enterprise Cellular Telephony (ECT) . With ECT, every call made to your desk phone (from another Communicator user or from any phone in the world) will automatically generate an â€œincoming callâ€ notification on your Communicator Mobile phone. If Communicator Mobile is your only phone, it has to be able to receive calls that are arriving at your desk, and also it has to allow you to make outgoing calls via your work phone, even when you are away from your desk.
From the message you can decline and send the call to your work voice mail (just like from Communicator). This allows you to have only once voice mail for all your work calls. If you decide to answer the call, it will look like you are taking the call from your desk, because Communicator Mobile IS your desk phone.
Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 also allows you to place calls that are originated from your company phone, even when you are using your mobile phone on the other side of the continent. On your contactâ€™s details cards, you now have an entry to place a call via work. Technically, Communicator Mobile is using the data connection to request your companyâ€™s OCS to place two calls, one to your contact one to yourself, and then merge the calls. The benefits are numerous: Your call appears as if it was originated from your company (useful when you do not want to disclose your location or your mobile phone number), and it allows you to call the other side of the world while being charged for a local call.
Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 also features further support for call handling setup. From your device, you can configure routing rules from your phone, to also ring your home phone, for example, or to pick up calls from your hotel room.
The slogan of the service is One Phone, One voice mail, Single Number Reach, a true Unified Communication statement.
Communicator Mobile 2007 R2, features more than 60% improvement in power consumption compared to the earlier version, significantly reduce sign-in time, and various other tweaks and improvements that will make the mobile workerâ€™s life better.
As mentioned early, many features of the software of the software wont be appreciated by the consumer, but features like having my home phone ring when I am at home, office phone when I am in the office and mobile phone when I am driving, all from the same number, would certainly not go amiss even in the consumer arena.
Read more about the software at the Office Communicator Blog here.