Microsoft has a new prototype mobile application called Slam (Social, Location, Annotation, Mobile) that lets users send messages and photos back and forth to members of a group, or “slam” Group members can also see each other’s locations mapped using Virtual Earth. The SLAM server handles all the messages and mapping, as it periodically polls the client application for its location, which is determined not by GPS, but by the nearest cell tower. The SLAM client came be downloaded for free, and works on any Windows Mobile SmartPhone. However, Microsoft does have one warning:
“The Slam smartphone client does not use SMS to send and receive messages, it uses HTTP to post messages to the server and to poll for new messages from the server. Because Slam uses the data pipe to send and receive messages, it is very important that all smartphone client users be on an unlimited data plan . We can not stress this strongly enough. Smartphone client users not on an unlimited data plan can expect bills up to $600 / month or more. SMS users will only have to pay for the SMS messages they send and receive per the plan they with their carrier. There are no special charges associated with Slam.”
Slam is another facet of Microsoft’s increasing interest in social networking applications, and it will be interesting to see what users think of the service. Not having a Windows Mobile device, we can not try it out of course.