A significant enhancement in Windows Phone 7.5 (code-named “Mango”) is users’ ability to engage in confidential message threads and to read rights-managed Office documents that are sent as email attachments.

Most organizations work with sensitive information as part of doing business, whether dealing with confidential client information or with Intellectual Property. Information Rights Management (IRM) is a Windows Server-based technology that provides the ability to control who within the organization can view email messages and documents and what they can do with them, such as whether they can be forwarded to others and printed.

Windows Phone 7.5 was designed to fit in with existing infrastructure, and so we made Windows Phone work with IRM.

In Windows Phone 7.5, rights-managed email messages are decrypted by the Exchange Server that hosts the mailboxes of message recipients, this requires Exchange Server 2010.  Rights-managed Office documents that are sent as email attachments or downloaded from SharePoint are decrypted by the Office Mobile apps on Windows Phone. Accordingly, the ability to read and repeatedly open rights-managed Office documents requires connectivity so that users’ credentials can be verified.

Windows Phone 7.5 is the only smartphone in market that includes built-in functionality for handling rights-managed messages and Office documents.

For detailed information, see the “Rights-managed email and Office documents in Windows Phone 7.5” article on the Windows Phone 7.5 Guides for IT Professionals page on the Microsoft Download Center.

Alan Meeus, Windows Phone Team