Symbian to Synch Up With Microsoft

Symbian, maker of mobile phone software, has announced it will license synchronization software from Microsoft, swallowing its pride and shaking hands with its Redmond rival. The company hopes to bring corporate customers that use Microsoft Exchange for e-mail over to Symbian-based smartphones.

The synchronization tools will be made available to Symbian licensees, which include Nokia and Fujitsu. Symbian already supports RIM's Blackberry Connect and Open Mobile Alliance Data Synchronization protocols.

Although Microsoft makes a competing platform for smartphones and has partnered with Nokia foes Motorola and Samsung, Symbian downplayed any significance of the licensing deal.

Microsoft was once seen as a major threat to mobile phone software makers such as Symbian, but the company has yet to capture more than 1 percent of the market.

"Microsoft isn't a monolithic company. This is a deal we've done with their server division and is aimed to complete the portfolio of email solutions, so that people have the choice to receive emails whichever email system they use," Symbian spokesman Peter Bancroft said.

"Symbian and Microsoft together are significantly expanding the number of customers who can directly access their corporate e-mail and (other) data from wireless devices," said Dave Thompson, vice president of Microsoft's Exchange Server Product Group.

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