Based on information reported by one of our sister sites, Talkin' Cloud, Microsoft has teamed with AT&T to develop and offer a cloud-based, mobile collaboration solution. Called the Mobile Office Suite, AT&T says the intent is to provide "fast, easy and highly secure access to voice calls, email, calendars, instant messaging, HD video conferencing, desktop sharing, file sharing and more."
The suite runs on the AT&T network, but is powered by Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Phone. Per the report from the Talkin' Cloud, the features being touted are:
- Access to Microsoft Office 365 tools such as Excel, Exchange, Lync, OneDrive, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word.
- Expanded click-to-call function for Lync Online.
- Available on any new or existing AT&T Windows Phone.
- Transition planning and onboarding, data migration and deployment services and 24/7 technical support.
- Works with the AT&T wireless rate plan.
Additionally, sometime later this year, AT&T plans to release a Global Audio Conferencing module which will allow subscribers to join Lync meetings worldwide.
The deal between AT&T and Microsoft represents yet another instance where Microsoft is pushing steadily into services and alternate platforms, using Office 365 as cornerstone. If the new solution can show enough value, I'm sure that Microsoft's hope is that more customers would see Windows Phone as a viable solution. Android and iOS lead the smartphone platform market and while Microsoft is third, there's an enormous gap between second and third place. The tide won't change quickly for Microsoft, but through partnerships and free software, the company is hoping to shorten its work and extend its presence in the mobile market.