palmOne Licenses MS Exchange Server Sync Protocol

palmOne today announced that it has licensed Microsoft's Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol to enable the delivery of secure, wireless and direct synchronization between Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, part of Windows Server System, and future Treo smartphones. palmOne intends to use the technology to extend the company's device support for Microsoft Exchange Server by adding capability for wireless server-based synchronization.

The relationship between palmOne and Microsoft underscores the market demand to make deploying mobile email access easier for companies of all sizes. Many mobile email solutions require a third-party server to be installed to act as a conduit between an email server and a mobile device. By integrating the Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol into its devices, palmOne eliminates the need for a third-party server and provides customers with a solution for secure, wireless email that is cost-effective and can be deployed quickly and easily. End-users will benefit by having out-of-the-box capability to link to Exchange Server 2003 data, including email and calendar information, using palmOne's easy-to-use VersaMail client.

"palmOne has built its brand on making complex technologies easy to use, and having wireless synchronization to Exchange 2003 available out-of-the-box will enhance our smartphone customers' experience while slashing company IT costs," said Ed Colligan, president, palmOne. "Key to offering the premier mobile-email-access device is our open-platform approach, resulting in a full spectrum of choices for individuals to CIOs at the largest enterprises."

"The combination of the Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol and mobile solutions from palmOne provides customers with a direct means of extending wireless access to corporate email from their palmOne devices in the field," said Dave Thompson, vice president of Exchange Server at Microsoft. "We believe that the combination of Treo smartphones and Exchange Server 2003 can significantly enhance end-user productivity by providing a secure, direct, easily implemented wireless email while simultaneously lowering IT costs by eliminating the need for middleware."

Email is the obvious application required by mobile workers who want to remain connected while away from the office. Between 2002 and 2006, the number of mobile workers in the United States will grow from 10 million to a total of 104.5 million individuals, and the No. 1 application organizations plan to spend money on in 2004 is email. According to IDC, 84 percent of businesses will look to deploy email first and then follow with personal information management, calendar applications and customer relationship management or sales force automation applications at the same time or soon after. Converged devices, such as the Treo line of smartphones, are poised to capture this growth in mobility with an expected growth rate for converged devices of 47 percent CAGR worldwide by 2006.

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Good news for corporate users

tupai @ 10/5/2004 2:35:45 PM #
With Treo 650 on the way, and now people can easily access their email (outlook) account via the EAS protocol on VersaMail, palmOne should be able to gain popularity in the corporate world.

Although, still not sure why people still stuck with Outlook when it's proven to be most virus prone groupware app in the history of computing... but that's a different story :)

At this point, I think this announcement is good for palmOne.

RE: Good news for corporate users
sremick @ 10/5/2004 3:24:29 PM #
Although, still not sure why people still stuck with Outlook when it's proven to be most virus prone groupware app in the history of computing... but that's a different story :)

Not a big surprise there. Why do people still insist on using IE, despite it being the single biggest avenue for virus/spyware/adware infection and the fastrack to getting your Windows computer hosed into uselessness? I mean, at least with Outlook you have the fact that it's needed to talk to an Exchange server (should you be so unlucky as to be forced to use one at work). With the web there is far more freedom to use the client of your choice, and greater-momentum to fix the outdated idea of making sites that only work in IE. The number of IE-only sites are rapidly decreasing with people finally waking up.

Ah, but I digress... ;)

Uh, Oh!

achitnis @ 10/5/2004 4:07:05 PM #
Colour me paranoid, but...

Isn't the Server ActiveSync in essence a protocol built on the ActiveSync used by PPC PDAs?

If PalmOne is licensing that, how far down the road do they go before HotSync gives way to ActiveSync, rendering the Palm incompatible with non-Windows machines?

Unlike the HotSync protocol, MS has not allowed ActiveSync to be reverse engineered and used on non-Windows platforms.

RE: Uh, Oh!
neuron @ 10/5/2004 5:18:41 PM #
Activesync will be only one option in treo for mobile syncing. You still can use hotsync to do local syncing.

RE: Uh, Oh!
rsc1000 @ 10/5/2004 7:07:24 PM #
Although i have had hotsync problems before (who hasn't?) - ActiveSync is such buggy junk. I think (i hope) that palm would never drop Hotsync for an inferior product.

RE: Uh, Oh!
timepilot84 @ 10/5/2004 8:07:42 PM #
It's probably going to be a conduit within Hotsync, like all the other integrated technologies. I hope it works with Open-Xchange.

RE: Uh, Oh!
nrosser @ 10/5/2004 9:19:40 PM #
This has nothing to do with HotSync or the desktop ActiveSync program. This is purely direct access, via wireless connection, to Exchange mail and calendar. No correlation to HotSync and the PPC syncing program (buggy, yes) ActiveSync.

RE: Uh, Oh!
achitnis @ 10/6/2004 12:31:57 AM #
Uh - both Hotsync and Activesync are *protocols*. The difference between them is that hotsync is on demand (you push a button and it syncs), while activesync is "always in sync" (you do not specifically have to sync to be uptodate). At least that is the way I understand it.

While fundamentally different in approach, they target the same function-space, and having both of them available is kinda redundant.

Activesync may suck, but it's got a bigger gorilla behind it. While initially, the sync may happen at conduit level, it could soon start encroaching on hotsync itself.

It is entirely possible that we will see a Borland-style "competition-to-partner" scenario in the future on this. And if/when that does happen, then start worrying about MS' DRM-push, which is going to complicate things mightily, apart from making it DMCA'able

This scenario had been speculated about a year ago on the jpilot (palm desktop for Linux) list.

RE: Uh, Oh!
just_little_me @ 10/6/2004 3:34:58 AM #
Read it properly guys - it's NOT about desktop syncing at all. It's totally about accessing Exchange server wirelessly WITHOUT going through an intermediate 3rd party server (ala Intellisync, Good, ESI etc). This won't change the way you HotSync at your desk.

The ActiveSync part of it is simply the comms protocol used to talk to the Exchange server directly. As soon as I read this peice I knew people would get all bent out of shape, confusing it with PPC desktop syncing.


RE: Uh, Oh!
JonathanChoo @ 10/6/2004 12:44:13 PM #
There would not be an activesync desktop application for syncing e-mail!

I really wish people read the brief first before starting to criticise something or spreading speculations. The ActiveSync part would be the protocal.

A PalmOS smartphone smaller than Treo 600

Sweetlu @ 10/6/2004 7:02:45 PM #
Msmobiles was covering this story and they're is a picture of Albert Chu - Vice President for Business Development of PalmSource holding two smartphones a Treo 600 and another one that is smaller. The one that is smaller seems to have a slider for the key pad. Does anybody know anything about this unit.

Casio B.O.S.S --> M100 --> Vx --> M505 --> T3 -->?

Yankees, Steinbrenner,...... I will never turn to the dark side.

RE: A PalmOS smartphone smaller than Treo 600
lemketron @ 10/7/2004 12:14:08 PM #
It's hard to tell for sure exactly which model it is, but it looks (to me) like one of the GSPDA devices shown on this page:



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