Apple To Add Exchange Support to iPhones
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 that will include built-in
support 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 ActiveSync
before the launch of the iPhone last year."
Apple's iPhones could already access Exchange Server-based e-mails, but the
process 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 users
to 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 development
The iPhone 2.0 software and the SDK will be free to iPhone customers and is
expected 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.
Michael Domingo is executive editor of MCPmag.com and hosts the Redmond Radio podcasts.