FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia is launching Microsoft Apps, an update to its Symbian Belle mobile operating system (OS), as it promotes its latest Symbian smartphones to business users.
The free updates include Microsoft's 'productivity' applications including Microsoft Lync Mobile, Onenote, Powerpoint Broadcast and Microsoft Document Connection, which will be added this year. Next year, Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint will be added as native applications.
Microsoft Apps will be delivered via a software update over the air or PC download and will work on the Nokia N8, Nokia C7, Nokia C6-01, Nokia E7, Nokia E6, Nokia X7, and new handsets, the Nokia 700, Nokia 701, Nokia 600 and Nokia Oro.
Nokia told The INQUIRER that the move to add Microsoft Apps to Symbian was decided before its wider collaboration with Microsoft. Despite its intention to eventually drop Symbian, Nokia has said it will support the OS until 2016.
We've seen a demo of Microsoft Apps on Symbian Belle and it's looks well integrated, so it might be useful for business users on the move.
However, for everyone else other Symbian Belle features will be more enticing. Symbian Belle increases the number of home screens from three to six, providing more room to display applications and services.
Live widgets now come in five different sizes, giving users more flexibility to personalise their handsets. Symbian Belle includes a pull-down menu and taskbar to access notifications from any of the home screens, plus enhancements to its web browser.
It also features single-tap NFC sharing and pairing capability, which allows contacts, videos and images to be shared with other NFC-enabled devices and smartphones, as well as pairing with NFC-enabled mobile accessories such as speakers and headsets. µ