Microsoft to launch Push E-mail
Live Punjab News Service
Microsoft announced that its long-awaited push e-mail capability for mobile devices is finally headed into the market. Although Microsoft is offering push e-mail abilities later than some mobile specialists, such as Research In Motion and Good Technology, the company says the numbers are still on its side. Although there are a billion mobile phones and 400 million Outlook e-mail users worldwide, only about 10 million people are getting their corporate e-mail delivered to their phones.
"We look at the universe out there and we know there is just a huge, huge opportunity yet to be met," Microsoft Vice President Suzan DelBene said in a telephone interview on Friday.
Microsoft has been promising push e-mail for some time, but it has taken awhile to get all the pieces in place. Push e-mail gets forwarded to a device as it comes in on the server, as opposed to pull e-mail, in which a user has to manually retrieve e-mail or get it at a certain time.
The new solution by Microsoft could spell even more problems for embattled RIM and its Blackberry handheld. Vodafone Blackberry users will now have an alternative mobile email solution following an announcement by Vodafone to team up with Microsoft at the start of the 3GSM World Congress, a cell phone trade show that took place in Barcelona, Spain.
With backing from a number of mobile phone operators including Cingular in America and Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone in the UK, the company’s Direct Push technology in Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) means businesses can mobilise their employees current systems without the need to pay for additional and costly e-mail servers.
In addition, Microsoft said several new devices will contain the necessary software for push e-mail, including Hewlett-Packard's iPaq hw6900 Mobile Messenger, the Fujitsu Siemens FS Pocket Loox and the Gigabyte g-Smart, which will be offered by Chungwa Telecom in Taiwan. HTC also said it will have a number of new devices available globally to T-Mobile and other operators beginning in the second quarter of this year.
According to Microsoft, Direct Push technology added to Windows Mobile 5.0 gives customers faster access to all of their Microsoft Office Outlook information. Just like prior versions of Windows Mobile, it communicates directly with Microsoft Exchange Server and Windows Small Business Server without the need for additional and costly e-mail servers and middleware.
The system will allow emails and tasks to synchronize directly from Outlook, and Microsoft Office Excel Mobile and Word Mobile attachments can be viewed, edited and returned. The service will integrate with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. The Mobile v1240 and Vodafone v1640 will support the service and local countries can offer alternative handsets based on local availability.
The system will have a major advantage over the RIM Blackberry service which is currently in danger of a US shutdown due to a patent lawsuit. Rather than routing all emails via the RIM servers in Canada for re-processing, the proposed Microsoft service will work directly from corporate exchange servers
The potential for mobile email services is widely seen as in the early adopter phase with senior managers already hooked up with access, the market believes widespread adoption to all levels of the enterprise has already begun.