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Microsoft is making it easier for enterprises to roll out mobile messaging systems based on its technology. The Messaging and Security Features Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0 makes it easier to directly push content, such as updated appointment schedules and email, out to users without deploying third-party middleware.

The software update - announced today and available from October - also makes it more straightforward for administrators to centrally manage policy. Improved data compression features and improved scalability have also been thrown into the mix.

The technology works in combination with an update to Microsoft's flagship groupware application, Microsoft Exchange 2003 SP2, also announced at Microsoft's TechEd conference on Monday and slated for delivery in October 2005. Jason Langridge, mobility manager at Microsoft UK, said the combined enhancements will make it "simpler to deploy mobile messaging without expensive middleware and extra servers".

Exchange is embedded in 126m seats, according to Microsoft. The software giant is hoping to use this strength as a base to push further into the mobile device market, which continues to be dominated by the Symbian crowd and more particularly to mount an assault on mobile messaging leader Blackberry from Research In Motion (RIM).

Our limited experiences using a Mio smartphone running Windows Mobile 2003 have revealed difficulties sending text messages and slow start-up times compared to Nokia mobiles. Langridge said Windows Mobile 5.0 contains improved test messaging and picture messaging support along with technology designed to make it easy for users to be "up and running" with their Windows-base smart phones within five minutes of taking them out of the box. ®

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