SMS Server Toolkit from microsoft

Short Message Service (SMS)-capable phones are the most common digital-access devices in the world, with more than 2.5 billion devices sold to date. Unfortunately, much of the great data and functionality based in PC networks has been unavailable to SMS-based phones. Just as a PC can be used as a Web server, this technology enables anyone with a Windows smartphone and a PC to create an SMS server, thereby bridging computer networks with that of SMS. In particular, we are excited about this technology because it enables small organizations such as schools, microfinance organizations, and even a lone IT staff worker to experiment and deploy SMS based applications cheaply. They can build these applications using Visual Studio or Excel. Additionally, this technology does not require that a developer gain permission from the local telephone company. The developer just plugs in a phone and pays for any SMS messages her program generates or receives. Sample applications we expect people to create: Schools can SMS hundreds of parents simply by filling out an Excel spreadsheet. Organizations can make their corporate directories easily available to any employer with an SMS cell phone. Sales representatives can SMS a customer name or number to their company’s SMS server and receive that customer’s ERP information. This is mostly an enabling technology that will help many developers to create SMS applications easily and cheaply. We believe that this platform providing SMS “server sessions” is the first of its kind and will make it easy for developers to create dialogue-based interactions via SMS, essentially enabling people to create interfaces as robust as an iPod UI.

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