Microsoft Mobile Services

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Not to be confused with Microsoft Mobile.

Microsoft Mobile Services are a set of personalized mobile services created specifically for mobile devices. It is offered through the applications and mobile browser for Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad (iOS), Nokia or Android.

Applications and Web Services[edit]

Mobile Service App Web SMS Exchange ActiveSync Description Status
Calendar Mobile B-check.svg B-check.svg Yellow check.svg Web-based version of Windows Live Calendar designed for mobile devices to view, schedule and manage calendar appointments and events. SMS service for users to query today and tomorrow's appointments in their Windows Live Calendar Final
Contacts Mobile B-check.svg B-check.svg B-check.svg Yellow check.svg Web-based version of Windows Live Contacts designed for mobile devices for access to contact information. Client-based version allows integration of the Windows Live contact list with the mobile device's address book. Also allow users to query contact information via SMS Final
Groups Mobile B-check.svg Web-based version of Windows Live Groups designed for mobile devices Final
Hotmail Mobile B-check.svg B-check.svg B-check.svg Yellow check.svg Web- and client-based version of Hotmail that targets mobile devices, and allow new email alerts via SMS Final
Windows Live Messenger Mobile B-check.svg B-check.svg B-check.svg Web- and client-based version of Windows Live Messenger that is designed for mobile devices, and allow users to send instant messages via SMS Final
Profile Mobile B-check.svg View and update user's own Windows Live Profile information using a mobile device Final
SkyDrive Mobile B-check.svg B-check.svg Web-based version of SkyDrive designed for mobile devices for accessing documents stored on the cloud. Client-based version allows upload of photos directly from a mobile phone camera. Final

Office Mobile[edit]

Microsoft Office Mobile (previously Pocket Office) was originally launched in 1998 with Windows CE v1.0, it's a suite of applications that comes bundled with Windows Phone and has separately downloadable versions for iOS and Android,[1] and was previously available for Windows Mobile[2][3] and Symbian.[4]

Microsoft Office Mobile has 4 core applications which are Microsoft Word Mobile, Microsoft Excel Mobile, Microsoft PowerPoint Mobile, and Microsoft OneNote Mobile, besides the core applications Office Mobile offers separately downloadable versions of Microsoft Lync, SharePoint, the Office Lens,[5] the Office Remote,[6][7] and Microsoft Office 365 apps.[8]

In 2014 Microsoft acquired Acompli a company that developed an email and calendar application for Android and iOS which was rebranded as Outlook Mobile.[9]

Office Lens[edit]

Microsoft Office Lens is a OneNote companion app designed to trim, enhance and makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable and converts images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files.[10] The application is limited in its ability to capture multi page documents, and requires a Microsoft Office 365 subscription to edit documents and files.[11]

Office Remote[edit]

Office Remote was originally launched by Microsoft Research in November 2013 to control Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from a mobile telephone and requires Microsoft Office 2013 (except for Office 2013 RT) or a Microsoft Office 365 subscription to work.[12][13] Office remote has the following capabilities:

  • For Microsoft PowerPoint Office Remote enables large buttons to make presentations more easily accessible, forward and backward slides, view thumbnails and jump to a side as well as access speakers while presenting a PowerPoint file and have access to the direction of the presentation with an on-screen laser pointer.
  • For Microsoft Excel Office Remote can jump between spreadsheets, graphs and any named object via simple gestures, change spreadsheets with swiping, navigate through columns and rows and use PivotTables and filters to change the levels of zoom.
  • For Microsoft Word Office Remote offers zoom control and scrolling.

Office 365 Video[edit]

In April 2015 Microsoft launched the Microsoft Office 365 Video app for iPhones, the video application works similar to Google's YouTube for enterprise users, the application however works exclusively with Microsoft Office 365 Academic or Enterprise editions and is not available for Microsoft Office 365 Home, Personal, Student, and Government editions. Office 365 Video can be used for training, promotional and informative videos for employees of companies whose intranets doesn't support video sharing capabilities.[14][15]

Remote Desktop[edit]

Microsoft launched the remote desktop service for several mobile platforms starting in 2013 with the service's launch on iPhones, iPads and Android tablets, the service features multi-touch capabilities, and thanks to compressing technology can also stream video and audio files, connect to external monitors and display presentations from their mobile device.[16] A year after the Remote Desktop service's initial launch Microsoft expanded it to the Windows Phone platform,[17] which later got Azure RemoteApp support.[18]

Bing Mobile[edit]

Main article: Bing Mobile

Bing Mobile (previously Live Search Mobile) is a mobile website and collection of applications that serves as a central hub for Bing services and websites in the form of "cards" that present information in a similar manner as Google Now and enables Bing Rewards for US based users. The Bing Mobile homepage shows the most popular search results in the form of a card, and can be personalised to show headlines based on the user's personal settings.[19]

Bing for mobile browser -[edit]

Mobile browsing allows users to access Bing on their mobile devices through WAP or GPRS connection. The interface is optimized for viewing on mobile handsets. Users can:

  • Search the web for information
  • Get news information
  • Find local businesses in the user's local area
  • Get maps and driving directions
  • Get answers to questions
  • In the UK and in Japan - "Find My Location" to pinpoint a user's location

In the U.S. on HTML-ready mobile devices such as iPhone, Android, and touch-screen Windows phones, further features are available:

  • Automatic location detection (geolocation)
  • Suggested local listings based on location and time of day
  • Save listings to Favorites, and send that list to friends
  • Movie listings with clips and trailers
  • Sports scores and stats, with real-time updates during games

The Bing for mobile browser is available in 31 markets worldwide.

Bing for mobile application[edit]

The Mobile Application is available as a Java ME application for non-Windows phones, as a richer .NET Framework application for Windows Phones, and as an application for BlackBerry OS, Android, iOS, and Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW). It provides local listings, maps (road and aerial satellite), driving directions, and traffic conditions. Other features include:

  • Predictive text input
  • Browse and search through business categories
  • Image search and image exploration
  • Speech recognition search input
  • Search results include a phone number and address; users may click to call for an immediate connection
  • Send search results to others using SMS
  • Find maps for specific addresses
  • Get directions to and from a destination
  • Get turn by turn directions using a GPS receiver
  • View traffic information for major roads in selected cities
  • Get weather forecasts
  • View movie showtimes and theaters
  • Turn-by-turn navigation for Windows 6.x phones.[20]
  • A hub in Windows Phone 7.x and later devices.[21]
  • For Android it includes a built-in browser
  • Bing Rewards
  • The ability to set the device's lock screen based on Bing's daily images.

The Bing app for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) includes these further features:

  • Barcode and cover art scanning
  • Enhanced product listings
  • Social updates from Facebook and Twitter
  • Social search - see results from social network alongside web results
  • Share search results on Facebook, Twitter, or through email

The Bing app is available in the U.S. on a variety of Windows phones, Android platform devices, all BlackBerry devices, several BREW devices, iPhone and iPod Touch, and Sidekick devices.

Bing 411[edit]

In the United States, Microsoft operated a toll-free number (1-800-BING-411 or 1-800-CALL-411) for directory assistance called Bing 411. This service used voice search technologies powered by Tellme. Users are able to find and connect for free to local shops and restaurants and obtain driving directions, traffic reports, sports scores, stock quotes, weather reports through this service. These numbers were discontinued on June 1, 2012.[22][23][24]

As a replacement for the above numbers, a non-toll-free number has been set up at 330-247-7411 and offers the same services. Also Bing has set up another toll free number at 888-247-2425 (no obvious acronym).

MSN Mobile[edit]

MSN Mobile (previously Pocket MSN) includes mobile information and communications services for mobile devices from Microsoft as part of their MSN, Windows Live, and Bing range of services. Many MSN sites can be directly accessed from mobile devices. MSN applications and services come either pre-installed and bundled with Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, and Windows. More recently Microsoft has also started bundling their services with their Nokia-branded feature phones.[25][26][27]

MSN Mobile product offerings originate from two mobile-focused groups within Microsoft's online services division. The oldest group, named Windows Live Mobile, primarily delivers SMS and WAP-based services. The newer group, MSN Mobile, started in August 2006 focused on bringing MSN premium and user generated content to mobile devices via both mobile browse and client applications. In 2014 Microsoft rebranded their Bing suite of applications to the MSN and subsequently released their MSN suite of applications for other platforms.[28][29][30]

There are two ways MSN Mobile can be accessed:

  • Mobile Browsing (
  • Mobile Application

Mobile browsing[edit]

Mobile Browsing allows users to access MSN content and services optimized for their mobile devices. Users can:

  • Get MSNBC breaking news
  • View latest Fox Sports highlights and scores
  • Catch up on latest MSN entertainment, celebrity and movie news
  • Watch videos from the MSN Video service
  • Find local movie and showtimes in the user's local area *Get local weather forecast
  • Check their daily horoscope
  • Search the web for information
  • Chat with online buddies with Windows Live Messenger *Get maps and driving directions
  • Peruse
  • Get answers to questions

Mobile applications[edit]

MSN Mobile client software is preloaded on many newer PDA and phones. Some carriers charge a premium to access this service. The client software usually allows IM and email access; some versions provide access to Spaces and Search as well. This application is available on Android,[31] Windows Phone[32] BlackBerry,[33] and later on iPad.[34] in 2014 Microsoft rebranded Bing's suite of mobile applications to the MSN brand renaming their Windows Phone and Windows Store clients from Bing to MSN, these new applications are MSN Money (formerly Bing Finance), MSN Weather, MSN News, MSN Sport, MSN Food & Drink, and MSN Health & Fitness (which absorbed MSN Healthy Living).[35] Later these applications were launched on iOS and Android.[36][37][38] The redesign of the applications and site proved positive and helped increase traffic with an additional 10.000.000 of daily visitors.[39] Sections include MSN News, MSN Entertainment, MSN Sports, MSN Money & Finance, MSN Lifestyle, MSN Videos, MSN Autos,[40] MSN Travel, msnNOW, MSN Online Safety & Security, MSN Career, Family & Living, MSN Education, MSN Shopping, MSN Health, My MSN, and Wonderwall. Though MSN mobile applications have evolved into full featured standalone versions bringing together multiple MSN sections into specialised applications, historical MSN apps were mere readers for the website and often didn't include any features other than the ability to read articles.[41]

Skype Mobile[edit]

Main article: Skype

Skype has mobile applications for most mobile operating systems and comes pre-installed on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1,[42][43] Skype Mobile is popular among enterprises who use it for business communications but has been criticized for its lackluster and whimsical video quality,[44] in 2014 Microsoft started improving on the quality Skype's mobile applications and fixed a notification bug that would notify users on various devices they've signed into with their Skype account even if they are actively using it on one of their devices.[45]

After Microsoft acquired had Skype they also got their mobile services including GroupMe and Qik.


GroupMe is a mobile group messaging service for Windows Phone, Android and iOS, GroupMe allows users to send text messages to anyone in their contact lists and notifies users of planned events in their calendars. The service was launched in May 2010. When Microsoft announced their plans to acquire Skype in May 2011 Skype, Skype acquired GroupMe in August 2011 as the Microsoft-Skype merger wasn't passed through regulations, GroupMe was then just a year old startup company at the time of their acquisition by Skype Technologies.[46]

Skype Qik[edit]

Qik, Inc. was originally a video messaging company, it was acquired by Skype Technologies in 2011,[47][48] and was eventually integrated into Skype's features with the original Qik client being retired by Microsoft in April 2014.[49]

Later in 2014 Microsoft relaunched Qik as a video message sharing application for Windows Phone, Android and iOS that requires users to register their mobile telephone numbers and send and receive messages to and from contacts in their phonebooks. Videos created via Skype Qik can't be shared or saved in any way or form and will be automatically deleted after a short period of time.[50]

Skype WiFi[edit]

Skype WiFi (previously known as Skype Access)[51] is a service designed to provide cheap WiFi all over the world which is accessible through an iPhone and Android app, when the service launched Skype offered the service free of charge for an entire weekend.[52][53] In 2012 the service was expanded to the United Kingdom and provided it in the form of routers and would be gratis for owners of a Skype account during the entire month of October.[54] In 2013 Microsoft launched the Skype WiFi app in the Windows Store and at the time Microsoft claimed that the service works with over a million hotspots around the world.[55]


Main article: Photosynth

Microsoft Photosynth is a digital photo analyser from the Microsoft Live Labs and the University of Washington that can generate Three-dimensional models and point clouds of photographs.[56]

Current generation photosynths are easy to capture, as photographs taken by any regular digital camera or mobile phone can be uploaded to Photosynth. Users have the option to geotag their digital shots on sites such as Flickr and then upload them to the online Photosynth web service. Images uploaded on Photosynth give people the ability to seamlessly view landmarks, public spaces and objects from all sides.[57][58] Currently the web service can walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle, zoom in or out of a photo, see where pictures were taken in relation to one another, smoothly change viewing angle between nearby photos, smoothly zoom in and out of high-resolution photos and find similar photos to the one you're currently viewing.


Main articles: Microsoft Cortana and Bing Audio

In 2014 Microsoft launched Cortana with the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, Cortana is a digital personal assistant with music searching capabilities and has the ability to tell jokes, show the latest headlines, predict sports events, enable "quiet hours" and show relevant local data using Foursquare.[59]


Windows Phone 7 was the first mobile operating system to have Xbox Live integration in a mobile app dubbed Xbox Live Extras, and with launch of Windows Phone 7.5 Microsoft included Xbox Live in the operating system's Games Hub. Xbox Live on Windows Phone enables users to edit their avatars, communicate with people from their Xbox Live friends list, and hosts the games installed on the device.[60][61]


Main article: Xbox SmartGlass

Xbox SmartGlass is a companion application for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles that enables users to connect their mobile devices with their consoles. The Xbox SmartGlass enables users to launch applications, play their music and videos, and control a select number of games and interact with an additional layer of the Xbox's TV settings. SmartGlass has been dubbed Microsoft's answer to the Nintendo WiiU's second screen.[62]

Xbox Music[edit]

Main article: Xbox Music

Xbox Music was launched with Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 as a rebranded version of Zune,[63] in Windows Phone 8 the service was included in the Music + Videos Hub and allows users to download the content they've bought via the Xbox Music Pass and stream it to their PCs. Originally Xbox Music was a Windows and Windows Phone exclusive application, but was launched in iTunes and Google Play in 2013 though the Windows Phone application did have more features than its counterparts but was criticised for unbundling several core features from the service such as podcasts and FM radio (which got their own applications) with the launch of Windows Phone 8.1.[64][65]

In 2015 Microsoft enabled OneDrive integration that allows users to stream the songs they've stored on OneDrive via Xbox Music.[66] The service works only if the files are in a OneDrive folder named Music and otherwise can't detect any other songs and currently only supports MP3, M4A (AAC), and WMA files.[67]

Xbox Video[edit]

Main article: Xbox Video

Xbox Video was rebranded from Zune alongside Xbox Music with the launch of Windows 8 in 2012 and despite being included in Windows Phone 8 and Microsoft stating that Windows Phone 8 could use Xbox Video in the operating system on their websites and press releases, the service itself didn't allow for the downloading and streaming of content until the launch of Windows Phone 8.1.[68]

Xbox Video as a video streaming service that allows streaming content on multiple devices but lacks the ability to save playback,[69] further it integrates with Xbox SmartGlass and can be accessed from the web.[70]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]