Microsoft unveils mobile-access software

The software maker trots out the public version of Mobile Information 2001 Server, which brings wireless e-mail and data access features to the Windows 2000 operating system.

Microsoft on Monday unveiled the public version of Mobile Information 2001 Server, which brings wireless e-mail and data access features to the Windows 2000 operating system.

With the software, users of mobile devices will have access to information from Microsoft's messaging software, Exchange Server, as well as to intranet applications and services, the company said in a statement.

The new wireless software, announced at Microsoft's Tech-Ed conference in Atlanta, began beta testing in September.

Mobile phone service provider Vodafone U.K. on Monday announced the commercial availability of corporate wireless services powered by Mobile Information Server, Microsoft said. The offering represents the first commercially available services based on Mobile Information Server.

Microsoft began its move into the mobile Internet arena with the July 1999 acquisition of Sendit, a Stockholm-based software developer. Sendit had developed a technology called Internet Cellular Smart Access (ICSA), which enables digital cellular providers to become mobile Internet service providers using Microsoft BackOffice or Exchange server.

Microsoft, which has heavily invested in wireless efforts in the past few years, also sells software for wireless device makers and content that service providers can offer consumers.

In addition to Vodafone U.K., a number of global mobile operators, including Telefonica Moviles in Spain and AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless in the United States, will test MIS-based services with their customers in the second half of this year.

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