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Microsoft Aims 'Crossbow' Windows Mobile OS For 4Q Release

Microsoft's next version of Windows Mobile, code-named Crossbow, will jump-start more mobile business opportunities for solution providers and application developers, the software giant's partners say.

The updated Windows Mobile, expected to be highlighted at the Microsoft Mobile & Embedded Conference next month, features a more Vista-like interface, seamless integration of Direct Push e-mail, and tight integration with Office 2007 and Exchange 2007.

Microsoft plans to release Crossbow to device manufacturers in the fourth quarter. Devices based on Crossbow are expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2007.

Many of the platform's advanced features will require Office 2007 and Exchange 2007. For example, tight integration with Office Communicator 2007 and Exchange 2007 will enable Windows Mobile devices to offer new instant-messaging support and more elegant push e-mail, according to partners.

"Simply put, it's a push e-mail OS for mobile devices that integrates with all the new features, like Communicator for Office 2007 and Exchange 12," said one partner, who requested anonymity.

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