Microsoft introduced software on Monday to manage advanced mobile phones much like personal computers, taking aim at a business dominated by Research in Motion's BlackBerry.
The world's largest software maker will unveil software dedicated to managing devices using its Windows Mobile platform during CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote speech on Tuesday at the CTIA wireless conference in San Francisco.
The Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 will allow technology administrators to send applications to phones, control security and generally simplify management of devices which are becoming more and more complex.
This positions Windows Mobile devices, which have been sold mainly through retail shops, to appeal to organizations who buy phones in bulk to distribute to their workforce. It's a market dominated by Research in Motion's BlackBerry.
New phones supporting the Mobile Device Manager software will be available in the second quarter of 2008 from Samsung Electronics, Palm, Motorola and other device manufacturers.
The server software will be released in the first half of next year, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft said the average Windows Mobile smartphone now has the processing power, storage and graphics capabilities of computers from 7 or 8 years ago. They also run on more powerful networks to open up the device to new applications.