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While unified communications may be a buzz word of note, lately, many forget it is really the software and hardware combination that makes everything unified to begin with. The problem is that most unified communications solutions start to fall apart once the user leaves his or her desk. To resolve that issue, solution providers are turning to the latest in handheld or portable devices, be it netbooks, notebooks or even Apple iPhones or other smartphones. Cell phone manufacturer HTC and communications giant Sprint are hoping to get a piece of that mobile pie with the HTC Touch Pro, a smartphone in PDA disguise.

The Touch Pro offers something in demand for those who are emailing, texting and scheduling — a slide out QWERTY keyboard, hidden under the screen. That 2.8 inch screen features VGA resolution, another feature that is lacking in so many of the devices on the market. The resolution of 640 by 480 offers a major improvement over previous generation units which only featured 240 by 480.

The HTC Touch Pro also offers a plethora of other features that mobile users have been demanding for some time. That includes WiFi, HSPA with 7.2Mbps on the downstream, Bluetooth, a 3.2 megapixel camera, a half gigabyte of ROM, and 288MB of RAM. Perhaps, most importantly is the inclusion of Windows Mobile 6.1, which is further enhanced using HTC’s TouchFLO 3D interface.

The TouchFLO 3D interface offers users the WOW factor. The TouchFLO interface provides simplified navigation that makes up for the somewhat cryptic interface of Windows Mobile, making the device actually fun to use. Although TouchFLO helps to hide complexity, it in no way limits functionality, and those familiar with Windows Mobile will be able to perform all the tasks they have come to rely on.

For those seeking unified communications, the inclusion of Windows Mobile is an important element. Solution providers will be able to integrate the device with the abundance of Microsoft Exchange Servers out on the market and then incorporate other Microsoft technologies, ranging from Office Communications Server to Sharepoint.