Australian incumbent Telstra has launched a new mobile user interface that allows users to customize their phone’s home screen and reduce the number of steps to access and use applications. “The interface will be expanded in the near future to include a range of Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) products, such as Sharepoint and Live Meeting” reports Australian IT. It will also tie in with Microsoft’s exchange email server and will grant access to corporate email servers for SME customers…the e-mail access will be charged on a pay per month basis. Users will also be able to tether their handsets to a PC and use it as a modem. The UI is based on Windows Mobile 6.1, and Telstra executive director mobility products Ross Fielding said that Telstra didn’t think it had an inferior OS and came out with this little gem: “Microsoft-based mobiles are not the most usable devices so we’ve been working with Microsoft and Steve Ballmer to get it working for us…We are happy with 6.1 because it is on more handsets than 6.5. The work that we’ve put in with this interface has been directly fed into the development of 6.5.”
Telstra also said it would increase the maximum speed of its Next G network to 21 Mbps over the next two months, reports ZDNet Australia.