Microsoft, General Wireless team on SMS for Office

A Swedish mobile messaging company's software will be offered for integration into Microsoft Corp. Office 2003, allowing users to send SMS (Short Message Service) messages from Microsoft Outlook.

The SMS Executive product from Stockholm-based General Wireless AB will be included in Microsoft Office Marketplace, a listing of products and services that work with or complement Microsoft Office. General Wireless and Microsoft will work together on the offering first in Sweden, but the agreement is global and can be extended to other markets, according to a General Wireless statement released Monday. Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, plans to release Office 2003 in the third quarter of this year.

SMS is a system for sending brief text messages, generally no more than 160 characters, to and from cell phones. The messages also can be sent to a cell phone from a PC.

SMS Executive adds a "New SMS" button to the Outlook toolbar that lets the user create an SMS message. It lets existing contacts and distribution lists in Outlook be used to send an SMS. Users could also set up Outlook to send an SMS notification of a calendar appointment or an important arriving e-mail.

Viva Technologies, in Oslo, Norway, currently offers an SMS application called MailSMS that it says can be integrated with Outlook.

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