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Better Collaboration Tools

Better Collaboration Tools

Another critical area for improvement is collaboration tools. As we use our phones more and more to conduct business remotely, we need to retain access to the tools that we use to collaborate with our office colleagues. When you can access Office 365 and SkyDrive through Mango, you'll have complete integration between desktop and mobile apps. You'll be able to get to your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files whenever you need them, no matter where you are. As long as you have phone service, you'll have access to the most current versions of your files. Now that is powerful stuff!

Later in 2011, Microsoft will release Lync Mobile, a version of its Lync collaboration suite that was released in 2010 with Office and Office 365. Through Lync Mobile, you'll be able to get presence information on colleagues (online or conference call, away from desk, out of town, and so on), so you can choose the best way to get in touch with someone.

Setting up conference calls has never been easier. You'll be able to add participants to a conference call with a single click, so you can say goodbye to distribution emails with conference numbers and lengthy, difficult-to-remember passwords.

There are whispers in the wind about a future patch that will allow desktop users to make Internet calls directly from within Lync to any landline or mobile device. Microsoft also plans to integrate Lync with Skype, but won't reveal any details until the deal is done. You might imagine that you'll be able to communicate directly with Skype users just as readily as with colleagues on your corporate Lync network.

Summary

It's an exciting time to be a Windows Phone user! While the initial release almost a year ago was met with lukewarm enthusiasm, the Mango update has generated a lot of buzz. Most early adopters agree that with Mango, the Windows Phone 7 feature set has caught up with Android and iOS in nearly every way—and in some areas has taken the lead.

Laura Acklen has authored or coauthored more than 20 Que titles on Windows, as well as both the Microsoft Office and WordPerfect Office productivity suites. She has ridden the technology wave from the early days of desktop computers and Windows 3.1 to the newest handheld devices and the soon-to-be released Windows 8. You can reach Laura by emailing austintechwriter@gmail.com.

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