Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Microsoft Mobile Manager Gets a Mind of Its Own

For better or worse, there are fewer and fewer excuses for being disconnected from your office or workplace. Today Microsoft Research released a free beta version of Outlook Mobile Manager 2.0, a downloadable plug-in for Outlook that forwards a user’s…
July 8, 2005

For better or worse, there are fewer and fewer excuses for being disconnected from your office or workplace. Today Microsoft Research released a free beta version of Outlook Mobile Manager 2.0, a downloadable plug-in for Outlook that forwards a user’s e-mail, reminders, tasks, and the like to his or her cell phone or PDA in the form of an SMS message. It isn’t the first program to integrate Outlook with mobile devices; Mobile Manager 1.0 has been around for more than four years. The new twist in version 2.0 is that the program now has the smarts to prioritize e-mail messages, forwarding only the messages that seem urgent. In the words of a Microsoft writeup:

OMM reads each e-mail, identifies who sent it, considers numerous aspects of the content and structure of the message header and body, and determines if the user can wait until later to see it or would prefer having a time-critical message while away from a computer. Only the most urgent mail is sent to the user’s mobile device.
What “numerous aspects” of a message’s content does OMM take into account? Microsoft again:
OMM determines urgency by analyzing many categories of findings or features of messages, including the number of people receiving the message, how long a message is, whether questions are being asked within its body, what sort of verb tenses are employed, and whether it contains dates and times and how close they are to the present. The message sender’s identity and relationship to the recipient are analyzed by accessing the user’s address book and an organizational chart via Microsoft’s Active Directory Service to determine such relationships as whether the sender is a peer, a direct report, a manager, somebody else up or down the org chart, or external—defined as somebody who doesn’t appear in the personal address book or the organizational chart.

I’ve downloaded OMM 2.0 and set it to forward urgent e-mails to my Treo 650. Using the program’s scheduling feature, I’ve elected to receive e-mails with medium priority or higher during work hours, and only e-mails with high priority during non-work hours.

We’ll see whether the service turns out to be useful or merely bothersome. I can already get all my work e-mail on the Treo using PalmOne’s own VersaMail system, but it requires at least two clicks to initiate a download. If the most urgent messages are pushed to me via SMS, I’ll see them sooner. And since I work in the San Francisco bureau of Technology Review – a continent away from all of my colleagues back at MIT – anything that can keep me stay in closer touch with the mother ship should be helpful. (In theory, anyway.)

Keep Reading

Most Popular

conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other
conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other

Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love

Fed up with apps, people looking for romance are finding inspiration on Twitter, TikTok—and even email newsletters.

computation concept
computation concept

How AI is reinventing what computers are

Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.