Microsoft Outlook Mobile Manager Extends Power of Outlook To Mobile Devices

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 12, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the worldwide beta launch of Microsoft® Outlook® Mobile Manager, a desktop PC application that extends the power, reach and functionality of the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client to a wide variety of mobile devices. Mobile Manager enables 68 million users of Microsoft Exchange worldwide to take greater control of their mobile communications by allowing them to intelligently filter and prioritize e-mail notifications. Mobile Manager will also tightly integrate with Microsoft Mobile Information 2001 Server, offering increased security and functionality, as well as the upcoming release of Office XP (the newest version of Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools and programs), due for release toward the end of the first half of this year.

Mobile Manager determines when to send calendar entries, contacts and tasks to mobile devices. Using smart technology, the application considers input from users about their Outlook-based communications and automatically constructs personalized message filters that govern which messages should be sent as urgent notifications to wireless devices such as text-enabled mobile phones. The system integrates the use of personalized filters, sets of rich profiles that capture a user’s preferences, and an analysis of a user’s activity to make decisions about mobile alerting. Mobile Manager is available starting today as a free Internet download from (connect-time charges may apply).

At the heart of Mobile Manager are a number of new technologies developed by Microsoft Research (MSR), the company’s research division, which tackles some of the toughest problems in computer technology. Those technologies, which include context sensing, automated learning and reasoning, natural language processing, and customizable priority profiles, enable Mobile Manager to adapt to users in varying contexts to determine what information is most urgent and should be sent to their mobile device.

Microsoft is scheduled to give a live, on-stage demonstration of Mobile Manager today at DEMO 2001, an annual conference held in Phoenix, Ariz., that focuses on demonstrations of new products and emerging technologies. Mobile Manager is one of 75 products and technologies selected to appear at the conference from among 1,200 potential exhibits.

“As an integral component of Microsoft’s overall mobile strategy, Mobile Manager and its parent product, Mobile Information 2001 Server, will enable users to lead an efficient mobile lifestyle — bridging the gap between access to information and control of the amount of information received on a mobile device,”
said Paul Gross, senior vice president of the Mobility Group at Microsoft.
“It is an honor that DEMO 2001 recognizes Microsoft’s leadership and innovation in mobility as showcased by Outlook Mobile Manager.”

The communications management features incorporated into Mobile Manager will become increasingly important to both individuals and corporations as the quantity and variety of electronic communications increase.

“We believe the next big problem that enterprise users will face, if they don’t already today, is massive communications overload from a variety of channels and sources,”
said Bob Egan, vice president of Mobile and Wireless at Gartner Group Inc.
“In fact, for most organizations, that will become a real crisis.”

Microsoft Outlook Mobile Manager is an innovative example of the kinds of technologies and tools that are quickly becoming necessities for both the mobile professional and wireless-enabled organizations as their communications systems become busier and more complex.

Mobile Manager offers advanced, customizable features that enable users to control how they receive e-mail, calendar, tasks and reminder information on mobile devices. Those features include the following:

  • Stand-alone functionality. Mobile Manager can operate as a stand-alone desktop application. Using SMTP, Mobile Manager can forward notifications from an Exchange server to any e-mail address and display them on handheld PCs, text-enabled phones or other mobile devices.

  • Mobile Information Server 2001 integration. Mobile Manager provides increased functionality when used with its parent product, Mobile Information Server. For example, using Mobile Manager with Mobile Information 2001 Server gives IT professionals the management tools to enable advanced message formatting, secure message forwarding to mobile devices and mobile access to information on corporate intranet sites. The combination also gives mobile users full desktop e-mail functionality, including the ability to browse, reply to, forward, compose and delete
    e-mail on any mobile phone with a microbrowser, even when the desktop PC is not running.

  • Control over Outlook-based communications. Mobile Manager uses automated learning and reasoning methods to recognize which messages and communications are urgent based on input from users, circumventing the cumbersome task of constructing detailed rules. Innovative technology from MSR is harnessed to construct personalized filters with the ability to identify urgent e-mail. The filters are used together with activity sensing and profiles that capture users’ preferences about messaging in different contexts, to determine when to send notifications to a mobile device. Mobile Manager’s profiles capture the complexity of modern lifestyles by dynamically tailoring the messaging behavior of the system to different situations, including work, home, out of office and do-not-disturb contexts.

  • Intellishrink. Also developed by MSR, the Intellishrink™
    text-compression system uses natural language processing technology to compress messages to up to 30 percent of their original size by removing unnecessary characters and words, without compromising message clarity. Using Intellishrink, Mobile Manager allows users to choose automatic message-condensing options such as removing spaces, using familiar abbreviations, removing punctuation and removing vowels.

“The technology represented by Mobile Manager is just the start of things,”
said Eric Horvitz, senior researcher and group manager at Microsoft Research.
“At MSR, we’re developing ways to make our communication and software applications more context-sensitive. We are creating systems that sense the environment, user and task, and that learn to recognize what is important to users based on their preferences, priorities and patterns of usage. We’re passionate about creating systems that put users in control of their communications and that can continue to adapt by learning from users in an elegant and easy-to-use way.”

Mobile Manager requires the Windows® 98 Second Edition, Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me), Windows NT® Workstation 4.0 Service Pack 3 or Windows 2000 Professional operating system. It also requires Outlook 97 or later as the primary personal information management (PIM) application, connected to Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server. In addition, Mobile Manager will be tightly integrated with the upcoming release of Office XP.

About DEMO

Founded in 1990, DEMO is the premier launch venue for new products, technologies and companies. Now in its 11th year, DEMO has established a reputation for identifying and presenting to an elite audience the products most likely to have a significant impact on the marketplace and market trends in the coming year. Each product is carefully screened and selected by DEMO’s executive producers Chris Shipley and Jim Forbes, two of the top trend-spotters in the personal technology product industry. Year after year, DEMO attracts the best and brightest minds in the industry, featuring the industry’s leading journalists, analysts, venture backers, executives and technologists. More information can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Outlook, Intellishrink, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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