People caught between e-mail and text messaging are going to like this service. With SMSOfficer, which is a plug-in for Outlook, you can send and receive text messages from your desktop e-mail to cell phones. The service works with any cell phone carrier (but only with Outlook e-mail). The first 10 texts are free, and then it costs $20 for the next 250.
It takes advantage of the Outlook Mobile Service that was baked into Outlook 2007. Your SMS message gets sent to SMSOfficer’s servers, where they are turned into SMS messages and sent over the mobile carrier networks. Up until now, few other services in the U.S. took advantage of the capability. I have not tried this out because I do not use Outlook. (You can read a review here). But there is definitely a big need for unified messaging across devices.
Ultimately, though, SMS is a compromise solution. What you really want is your e-mail on your phone. For the growing number of people buying smart phones (or simply using the mobile versions of Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and others), that day is already here. Pretty soon, paying $20 on top of your data plan so you can send an abbreviated e-mail to someone’s mobile phone is not going to look like such a great deal.