Apple To Add Exchange Support to iPhones

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Is Apple acknowledging the power and ubiquity of Microsoft's messaging platform? That might be a stretch, but the company has announced a forthcoming update to its iPhone 2.0 software, which will include built-insupport for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync.

Rumors about the addition of native Exchange compatibility in the iPhone have been in the works since last summer, with one such report appearing on Mary Jo Foley's "All About Microsoft"blog on June 26, 2007.

Terry Myerson, corporate vice president for Exchange, admitted in a press release that Redmond "started talking with Apple about licensing Exchange ActiveSyncbefore the launch of the iPhone last year."

Apple's iPhones could already access Exchange Server-based e-mails, but theprocess involves convoluted settings and opening a network to potential security vulnerabilities.

Apple's licensing of ActiveSync allows the company to develop its own front-end as well as gain secure access to, and abide by, security policies on an Exchange Server 2007 over the air. That the support is built-in means that admins can provide configuration and connection settings and package it for iPhone usersto download and install securely.

Apple's ActiveSync licensing was part of a larger announcement the company made about the release of a beta version of its iPhone software developmentkit.

The iPhone 2.0 software and the SDK will be free to iPhone customers and isexpected to be released in its final form at the end of June.

Apple joins a long list of device manufacturers -- which includes Motorola, Nokia and Palm -- that already license Exchange ActiveSync. Apple claims 28 percent of the smartphone market, with 4 million sold since its release up to January 2008.

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About the author: MCPmag.com Editor Michael Domingo has been tracking IT and software development trends since 1989 and, since 1997, witness to Microsoft's dominance in certification and training. Michael hosts MCP Radio and Redmond Radio and moderates MCPmag's live chats and discussion forums..

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is executive editor, new media, and editor of MCPmag.com. You can contact Michael at mdomingo@1105media.com.

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