Optical/IP Networks

Europe First for Redmond Push

Orange Business Services, the enterprise arm of cellular operator Orange UK will launch Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)’s push email update for Windows Mobile 5.0 next, but analysts suggest that U.S. carriers will not be far behind with the much anticipated update.

Orange has been trailing the service for a while and will launch the service with the Orange Mobile Manager, a tool that enables IT departments to update current Windows Mobile 5.0 devices without manually configuring each one.

Tim Kridell, contributing analyst for the Unstrung Enterprise Insider expects that in the U.S. the Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) update required will be mainly issued by the carriers rather than the device vendors themselves.

Cingular Wireless , Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Wireless all offer Microsoft-based smartphones to subscribers.

”For Cingular's 8100, the MSFP upgrade is supposed to be available by the end of the first half of the year,” notes Kridell.

Verizon has the Windows-based Palm Treo 700w, and Sprint is offering the PPC-6700.

“Chances are good that a range of devices will offer MSFP within a few days of each other whenever MSFP is officially launched,” says Todd Kort, analyst at Gartner Inc. . “[But] there is no telling who will be first to market with MSFP or when.”

There is, however, one snag for the carriers as Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney points out: ”Those devices support MSFP but that is not a carrier email solution for Exchange. It is just the device side.”

”The Orange offering is undoubtedly just a rebranded version of a product from Visto, Intellisync, or Seven,” adds his colleague Todd Kort.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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