Microsoft's Office Communicator Arrives for Nokia Phones

After years of bad blood between them, Microsoft and Nokia are collaborating to make the software giant's Office Communicator Mobile available on Nokia's Symbian-based smartphones.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), this week, made its unified communications client, Office Communicator Mobile, available on two of Nokia's Eseries devices -- the E72 and E52 -- with support for more devices on the way, according to a joint statement from the two companies.

Office Communicator Mobile is the first deliverable in an alliance spawned last summer wherein Microsoft promised to port mobile versions of its Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, to run on Nokia's Symbian mobile operating system.

"Our alliance with Nokia aims to bring the Microsoft Office productivity experience to the millions of people using Nokia smartphones around the world," Kirt Debique, general manager of Microsoft's Office communications platform and solutions group, said in the statement.

The new unified communications client connects with a company's communications systems to help "streamline mobile collaboration," the companies said.

Microsoft ended up delivering Office Communicator Mobile well within the timeframe it originally forecast which was only as precise as sometime this year.

"Communicator Mobile enables people to see their colleagues’ availability and click to communicate with them using the best method, from instant messaging and e-mailing to texting and making a phone call," the joint statement said.

"This application really provides a much more efficient way to work with others, as you can see if someone is busy or available and the best way to start a conversation with them,” Nokia Vice President Ukko Lappalainen said in the statement.

Longer term, Microsoft plans to provide access beyond Office Communicator Mobile and the core Office apps, including SharePoint collaboration services and the software firm's System Center management tools.

The thaw between the two firms began more than two years ago, when Microsoft said it was porting its Silverlight media streaming technology to run on Symbian phones.

Nokia said it will ship Communicator Mobile pre-installed on forth-coming smartphones, including the Nokia E5. In the meantime, Nokia Symbian phone users can download the English version from Nokia's Ovi Store.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Microsoft, Nokia, Symbian, Communicator Mobile, Eseries