Microsoft and Nokia are taking a crack at unseating enterprise mobility heavyweight Research In Motion (RIM) with the launch of business-grade unified communications software.
The software is the first product to emerge from an alliance announced last August which merged the resources of the world’s largest handset manufacturer and the world’s largest software maker.
“Our alliance with Nokia aims to bring the Office productivity experience to the millions of people using Nokia smartphones around the world,” said Microsoft General Manager Kirt Debique in a statement. “With the arrival of Communicator Mobile for Nokia today, we have a great start to fulfilling our joint vision.”
Microsoft Communicator Mobile for Nokia lets users see their colleagues’ availability and click to communicate with them using the best method, from IM to e-mail, text to phone call. The names and status of colleagues are embedded directly into the devices’ contacts application.
Nokia’s collaboration with Microsoft could help the handset giant make inroads into the enterprise space, which is dominated by BlackBerry maker RIM. RIM’s edge lies in the enterprise-grade software used in the device, which has helped to make BlackBerry phones popular with businesses.
“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,” said Nokia Vice President Ukko Lappalainen in a statement. “It also meets all of the requirements for enterprise: cost effective to implement, secure, familiar and reliable.”
An English version of the software is available for download from Nokia’s Ovi Store on Nokia E72 and Nokia E52 devices. Microsoft and Nokia plan to pre-install the software on select Nokia smartphones in the future and will eventually support additional devices, including the recently announced Nokia E5.
RIM recently surpassed Motorola to become one of the world’s top five handset vendors with a 3.6 percent global market share, according to research firm IDC. Nokia still has the top spot with a substantial 36.6 percent market share.