MS adds full push email to Windows Mobile 5

Watch out, RIM?

3GSM Microsoft will next month allow handset vendors and mobile phone networks to offer customers Direct Push Technology - its answer to Research in Motion's Blackberry push email system. DPT will be delivered through a Messaging and Security Feature Pack update to its Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system, plus a Service Pack for its Exchange Server 2003 code.

A number of hardware vendors and networks announced support for DPT, including Vodafone, Cingular, T-Mobile, Orange, Asus, Fujitsu Siemens and HP - the latter launched its anticipated iPaq hw6900 communicator series today. Palm and i-Mate will offer the Messaging and Security Feature Pack for their respective Windows Mobile-based devices.

The Windows Mobile 5.0 update will allow servers to push not only email but also Outlook contacts, calendar and to-do list information. The software will also allow mobile clients to search company-wide address lists stored on the server via the mobile OS' phone dialer, contacts, calendar and inbox applications, Microsoft said.

"The Messaging and Security Feature Pack... eliminates the need for businesses to outsource their mobile messaging to third-parties and purchase additional middleware software or costly servers," Microsoft chirped.

Vodafone said it will offer a range of DPT-enabled mobile devices in March, specifically the v1240 v1640. It's branding the service as Windows Mobile Email from Vodafone, and will offer it initially in the UK, France and Germany, then to other countries through 2006.

HP said the DPT-equipped iPaq hw6900 series is "expected" to be available in Asia Pacific and Europe "this Spring" and in North America in the Summer. Fujitsu Siemens' Pocket LooX T series handhelds will ship in July. ®

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