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Microsoft push e-mail hits Symbian phones first

Feb 06, 20062 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoft

DataViz Monday plans to release a new version of its RoadSync 2 software that will let users of certain Symbian smart phones receive push e-email from corporate Microsoft Outlook accounts.

Enterprises already running Microsoft Exchange 2003 with Service Pack 2 won’t have to install any additional back-end software to provide the push e-mail service, but end users will need to download software to their phones.

“The benefit for enterprises is there’s no extra middleware to set up and no extra fees around the middleware or a [network operations center],” said Rob Hoxie, director of business development for DataViz. With RoadSync, an enterprise must license software for the user device but if the company is already using Exchange 2003, the enterprise doesn’t have to buy and manage an additional server or pay for the use of a hosted push e-mail service.

Many push e-mail offerings, such as those from Research In Motion, Good Technology and Nokia, require a back-end server and sometimes incur additional fees associated with a remote network operations center.

In an unusual situation, the DataViz announcement makes Microsoft’s push e-mail service available to non-Microsoft devices before Microsoft devices. While Microsoft’s Service Pack 2 supports the push e-mail capability on the back end, the corresponding upgrade for Windows Mobile 5.0 , Microsoft’s handset software, isn’t yet available. “So now you’re seeing this on a Nokia device before a Microsoft device,” Ilya Eliashevshy, the product manager for RoadSync, noted.

To create the product, DataViz licensed Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology, which, combined with Service Pack 2, enables the push capability from Exchange 2003.

To use DataViz’s offering, end users must download the RoadSync software to their Symbian UIQ or Symbian Series 80 phones, which include handsets from Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB and Nokia Corp. A setup program will ask users to input their corporate server address and user name and password. If an IT manager has already enabled Web access to Outlook, then the mobile push e-mail feature on Exchange 2003 is also turned on, Hoxie said.

In addition to push e-mail, RoadSync allows IT managers to remotely erase data on the phones if users lose their phones or find them stolen. Users will also be able to access their company address book when writing e-mail messages.

DataViz said it plans to develop RoadSync for Symbian Series 60 third edition and UIQ 3.0 handsets.


Nancy Gohring is a freelance journalist who started writing about mobile phones just in time to cover the transition to digital. She's written about PCs from Hanover, cellular networks from Singapore, wireless standards from Cyprus, cloud computing from Seattle and just about any technology subject you can think of from Las Vegas. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Computerworld, Wired, the Seattle Times and other well-respected publications.

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