Business users are increasingly on the move and many of them want to take their Exchange mailbox data with them. Exchange Server 2007 provides built in mobile access through Exchange ActiveSync. Users can synchronize their email messages, contacts, calendar, and task data directly to their Exchange ActiveSync-enabled mobile device. Users can even access some Unified Messaging data such as voice mail messages on their device by synchronizing the e-mail message with the voice mail file attached. Through the installation of a third party add-in, they may even be able to view the faxes directly on their mobile phone. With Direct Push, Exchange data is sent in near real time. A long-standing HTTPS request is maintained between the device and the Exchange Server. When new items arrive or items are changed in the Exchange mailbox, those changes are synchronized to the device.
Now that I've got your attention, you're probably wondering what sort of device you need in order to take advantage of all this functionality. That's exactly the topic we're going to cover in this post. There are many different types of mobile devices available today. It seems every few weeks there is a new device launched on one of the major wireless carriers. These devices come from a variety of manufacturers, run a variety of mobile operating systems, and are available in a variety of form factors. You can buy devices with full QWERTY keyboards, ones that play music, ones that have a built-in GPS, or ones that come in flashy colors. Some mobile devices have built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality and can interact with the audio systems in some cars. Some function as laptop modems and still others as presentation devices with built-in infrared remote control capabilities. Some mobile devices are small clamshell form factors, while others are larger than a deck of playing cards with fold out screens large enough to watch videos and view pictures.
Ultimately, the device's operating system largely determines the features it supports. The device's original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and the device's carrier can also specify whether certain features are available, however all of the features we'll talk about in this post should be available regardless of which OEM or carrier you choose.
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