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The updated Windows Mobile, expected to be highlighted at the Microsoft Mobile and Embedded Conference next month, features a more Vista-like interface, seamless integration of Direct Push e-mail, and tight integration with Office 2007 and Exchange 2007. Microsoft plans to release Crossbow to device manufacturers in the fourth quarter. Devices based on Crossbow are expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2007.

Many of the platform’s advanced features will require Office 2007 and Exchange 2007. For example, tight integration with Office Communicator 2007 and Exchange 2007 will enable Windows Mobile devices to offer new instant-messaging support and more elegant push e-mail, according to partners.

Crossbow brings improved stability vs. its predecessor, Windows Mobile 5.0. After that release came out, Microsoft released an extension called Messaging and Security Feature Pack that provided BlackBerry-like direct push e-mail technology, but it lacked a refined user interface and seamless integration with Microsoft software, partners said.

Crossbow’s integration of more elegant push e-mail implementation, as well as an enhanced e-mail interface and fonts, will make it more appealing to major Windows Mobile device manufacturers, such as Motorola and Palm, partners said.

Written by Gary