"Microsoft's been quietly responding to IBM, Oracle and Sybase's public announcements of mobile portal infrastructures by readying its own wireless server for mobile and speech applications. Also under way is an emerging back-end software product for Microsoft Exchange, code-named Airstream, which Redmond intends to sell to screen-phone makers.
"Scott Gode, product manager in Microsoft's Mobility Division, said the still unannounced "mobile access and solutions server" will provide a development platform for wireless and speech applications, while also supporting diverse devices and multiple data sources.
"In a keynote speech at Microsoft's recent Fusion conference, Microsoft CEO and president Steve Ballmer told partners that under its future ASP-oriented .Net architecture, Microsoft will extend wireless access to non-Microsoft mobile operating environments that include the archrival PalmOS.
"Our strategy is to use speech and wireless technologies to mobile-enable data stored on servers like Exchange and SQL Server," Gode said this week, with regard to current activities. Microsoft is now planning a "re-launch" of its DNA Server lineup, including Exchange 2000 and SQL Server 2000, for the last week in September, according to other sources at Microsoft.
"Gode described Microsoft's still-under-wraps mobile server as part of a core set of wireless "plumbing functionality" that MS is creating for corporate applications, carriers and ASP data centers.
"MS will meanwhile use tools like Visual Studio 7 to enable third-party mobile app development for platforms like PocketPC and screen phones, according to the MS product manager.