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Microsoft to Replace Blackberry? 232

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the waiting-for-the-next-round-of-patent-lawsuits dept.
nmccart writes "According to Wired Magazine, Microsoft, along with Cingluar and Vodaphone, is planning to introduce the next generation of Windows Mobile phones that can receive e-mails "pushed" directly from servers that handle a company's messaging. This will allow companies to skip over the cost of installing a Blackberry server, and instead just use the Exchange servers that they are already using. The question becomes, now that this technology is cheaper, will my VP be buying new Windows Mobile enabled cell phones for his entire department just so we can put in more hours?"
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Microsoft to Replace Blackberry?

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  • I doubt it.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ASUSanator (700145)
    So many places i know now are running blackberry and so many people i know have blackberry devices i think it will take a long time if it ever does occur for people to switch over to Windows SmartPhones.
    • Sadly, "Blackberry" has become the new "iPod".

      "Hey, is that your new wireless email device with mini-qwerty keypad?"
      "Hey, is that your new Blackberry?"

      So no, Windows Mobile Smart Phones won't takeover until the day people stop calling every portable audio player an iPod and every PVR a TiVo.
    • Re:I doubt it.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by binaryDigit (557647) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:09PM (#14709930)
      So many places i know now are running blackberry and so many people i know have blackberry devices i think it will take a long time if it ever does occur for people to switch over to Windows SmartPhones.

      I don't know that I entirely agree. While Crackberries are quite popular, I think that there is still a significant number of companies that don't have a mobile email solution that would jump at the opportunity to do it as a "single" solution. As well, as companies look to upgrade, having the all-in-one solution could be quite enticing. The biggest bonus for M$ is that I don't think they are necessarily counting on driving significant additional short term exchange licenses due to this manuver, so they can afford to wait and slowly take on marketshare. Remember, people wouldn't be buying "Windows Smartphones", they're buying mobile email solutions that also allow them to do voice. If a Windows Smartphone fits the bill, then so be it.
    • There are also probably just as many places that have a lot of people with Blackberries, who would like to offer more support for them but are unwilling to drop the money for Blackberries server software. If indeed MS comes along with a device that has out-of-box support for push from Exchange, I'm guessing that will tip the scales to MS's favor in a lot of situations.
    • Re:I doubt it.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SeattleGameboy (641456) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:29PM (#14710127) Journal
      Blackberry is going to have a very hard time in the future.

      Blackberry does not have a vertical leverage like Apple has with iPod where the content and the device is controlled by a same company.

      In fact, many, many, corporations use Exchange and the value proposition (not having to buy an extra wireless email service) is going to be something that is going to be very difficult for Blackberry to compete against.

      Add the fact that most power-types that own Blackberries tend to upgrade their device almost every year, there is really nothing holding people back from switching their wireless e-mail service.

      • Add to it that RIM hasn't innovated in the past 5 years. Colour screens? They do phonecalls now too? Blah. They should be smaller, lighter, cheaper, and have used their clout to dig into small business, students and other markets. Their back end software should be seamless at this point, we shouldn't be hearing BS about unencrypted mail being stored or other dumb stuff.

        I've stayed away from investing in their stock because the moment a big player decides to enter the area, they're sunk. The only thi

    • From the same school of thought, circa 1995:

      "I doubt it... So many places I know and so many people I know are running Netscape Navigator that I think it will take a long time, if it ever does occur, for people to switch over to Internet Explorer."

    • Re:I doubt it.... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Total_Wimp (564548) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:38PM (#14710208)
      So many places i know now are running blackberry and so many people i know have blackberry devices i think it will take a long time if it ever does occur for people to switch over to Windows SmartPhones.

      Depending on the situation, it will take a much shorter time to switch to Windows Smartphones.

      Consider the scenerio where you have an Exchange 2003 Server with an Outlook Web Access (webmail) front end server. Lots of companies either currently have this scenrio or have a similar Exchange 2000 scenerio and will upgrade in a couple of years.. If you have this scenrio, turning on Exchange Active Sync, the technology that makes this happen, is an afternoon of work. Period. It's done. There are no extra licenses, no extra software and no extra infrastruture. Getting approval for it will be increadibly easy, because it carries about the same risks asthe OWA server you're already running.

      Now consider you have the exact same scenerio, but also a Blackberry server. It's still painless to turn on EAS, so having the two work side by side is easy. You can have Smartphones and Blackberry offered to your employees. But if you already have EAS and don't have a Blackberry server, how are you going to convince your boss to pony up the cash for Blakberry?

      In short, since EAS is "free" (as in "you already paid for it, but didn't know it at the time"), you're far more likely to deploy it than the "expensive" Blackberry server. Thus, MS wins again.

      TW

      Full disclosure: I've implimented an EAS solution at my company and currently have an Audiovox SMT5600 Windows Smartphone. The Syncing is awesome, though I find myself restarting my phone periodically, something I never had to do with my old Nokias. I've never owned a Blackberry, though the few times I've played with one convinced me they're a fine solution.

  • Now that NTP's patents are most likely bunk, we're going to see the freemarket at work. It's a perfect example of how bad patents stifle competition.
  • by Isca (550291) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:01PM (#14709841)
    We don't know if this will be a product that every exec is going to want installed for their workforce, but we can safely assume that yes, you are going to work more hours.
  • Answer: (Score:5, Funny)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow.wroughtNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:01PM (#14709844) Homepage Journal
    will my VP be buying new Windows Mobile enabled cell phones for his entire department just so we can put in more hours?

    Yes I will. Now get back to work!

  • by fbg111 (529550) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:02PM (#14709849)
    Can't wait to see the fireworks when RIM turns around and sues Microsoft for patent infringement of some sort to prevent them from impementing this plan...
    • I think its a little scary that this is modded Funny. Haven't any of you been reading the dozens of patent lawsuits over the most innane things lately? I honestly wouldn't be surprised in the least to see RIM fire up the lawyers again. Remember, they sued PDA makers over tiny keyboards already...
  • Same question... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:03PM (#14709866) Journal
    will my VP be buying new Windows Mobile enabled cell phones for his entire department just so we can put in more hours?

    Only if you let him. I am on salary and work 40 hours. The first year +, I worked 60 hours plus. Then, as I automated and gaine control over recurring issues, I got more done in 40 than when I was working 60.

    I was under pressure to keep working more than 40... I just said 'no'. Simple as that. And I have received a promotion since then, so no "black list" occurred.

    If you aren't in a position to say 'no', get there. No job is worth working more than half of your waking hours.
  • Feh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FlyByPC (841016) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:05PM (#14709881) Homepage
    My Treo already has email, a Web browser, and SMS capability. This would just involve Microsoft, and as good as they are at designing easy UIs, I don't see how that would be necessary.
    • Re:Feh... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by usurper (27610)
      Your treo already has "push" email as well. It's called IMAP idle. http://www.chatteremail.com/ [chatteremail.com]
    • Microsoft, and as good as they are at designing easy UIs

      Uh, what?

      Could you please point out an easy UI that they have designed? I'm not saying Blackberry is any better, after using a Nokia when they were entirely text menu driven then switching to a SE T616 and now a Treo 650, I have a hard time figuring out my bf's Blackberry everytime I try to use it. I don't understand why it always wants to dial the last number you dialed whenver you want to use the phone.

      I like things that make sense, but that'

  • by cosmotron (900510) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:05PM (#14709886) Homepage Journal
    They will be called "Blueberries." Not because they won't want to be associated with Blackberry, but because of the constant flow of error screens.
  • by zorkmid (115464) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:05PM (#14709895)
    I've been using "Push" email with ChatterMail on my Treo 600 and my company's IMAP server for a while now.

    No Mickysoft exchange server needed.
  • That you have read your phone's instruction manual, and know with confidence how to operate the "Power" button.
  • The question becomes, now that this technology is cheaper, will my VP be buying new Windows Mobile enabled cell phones for his entire department just so we can put in more hours?

    That would probably depend upon the cost per unit of the phones along with any other expenses connected with the rollout of this system compared to the relative value of each additional potential employee hour worked. You might also ask yourself, especially if they do set this up and start abusing it on nights and weekends, if t
  • by Software (179033) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:09PM (#14709927) Homepage Journal
    This reminds me of the old RMS quote regarding working on non-free software being like sharecropping, in that you exist at the whim of the platform owner (in this case, Microsoft).

    I like the headline: "MS Venture Nips at BlackBerry". How about "MS Will Eat BlackBerrys (for) Lunch." Anybody want to bet how long RIM's going to last? Two years? Three?

    • "MS Will Eat BlackBerrys (for) Lunch."

      And turn them into DingleBerries.

      (Sorry.)
    • Not Necessarily... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by debest (471937) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:27PM (#14710114)
      Anybody want to bet how long RIM's going to last? Two years? Three?

      Microsoft is not a juggernaut that rolls over everything that it touches. They have failed *many* times in becoming even a viable competitor in certain marketplaces, let alone a dominant force that squashes everyone. Examples of where they have not wiped out an established competitor include home finances software (vs Quicken), PDA platforms (vs Palm), game consoles (vs Sony), search engines (vs Google), web portals (vs Yahoo), DRM'ed music files (vs Apple), etc, etc, etc.

      RIM is no pushover. They've been building Blackberries for almost 10 years now, and have a lot of technology experience (and a lot of patents) in their pocket. They also have a fanatical following in the corporate world, not unlike iPods in the consumer world. Sure, MS might compete, but put RIM out of business in 2-3 years. *NOT* going to happen!
      • Microsoft is not a juggernaut that rolls over everything that it touches. They have failed *many* times in becoming even a viable competitor in certain marketplaces, let alone a dominant force that squashes everyone. Examples of where they have not wiped out an established competitor include home finances software (vs Quicken), PDA platforms (vs Palm), game consoles (vs Sony), search engines (vs Google), web portals (vs Yahoo), DRM'ed music files (vs Apple), etc, etc, etc.

        To pick a nit, Palm once had the PD
        • Palm is losing the PDA market not because of MS, more because of the convergence of the phones and the traditional PDA.

          I don't know about the TREO 700w, but the 600/650 are a lot better than any brick phone that previously ran windows. Obviously if the 700w takes off that could change; however, to say that MS killed Palm is incorrect. MS contributed to the decline of PALM, but there where a lot of factors involved in PALMS downward spiral.

          -MS2k
      • by Queer Boy (451309) * <dragon.76@maCOWc.com minus herbivore> on Monday February 13, 2006 @04:22PM (#14710651)
        Except that all the companies you mentioned do not RELY on Microsoft for their product to work. You need to look at the companies that Microsoft has totally oblitereated (Novell, Lotus, etc) to understand it is NEVER a good idea to not only be a competitor to Microsoft but to have your product's success based on a Microsoft product (Exchange).
      • Home finances? Agreed
        PDA? Look at the ground it made from the 0% level. Do you really think they are not doing well especially since 5.0
        Game Consoles? From 0 place to 2nd place world wide? Yeah they sure ain't doing well.
        Search Engines? COnsidering they just got into it last year, give it some time.
        Web Portals? MSN? Hello?
        DRM music files? WMA? Hello?
  • No time soon... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rkhalloran (136467) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:09PM (#14709931) Homepage
    (a) First iteration of MS products are seldom stable, RIM is already there.

    (b) The existing Crackberry addicts will only switch when their existing units are pried from their cold dead fingers.

    (c) I'll contend that the majority of type-A folks that need this already have it in Blackberry, and MS and the cell providers will be trying to get people to switch vs. trying to get lots of new customers to buy in. Smaller potential market, and perhaps already near saturation.
    • Excellent points.

      But given the offering, Microsoft will probably price it in the basement, so that people who don't have Blackberry stuff just get it at very low cost, with their standard load of Microsoft.

      All they'll have to do is buy phones with Microsoft software and will will all work (sort of).

      That's how you kill of Blackberry - make it a non-event to get started with the Microsoft version. No more new interest in Blackberry, given its cost.

      That's the model for obsoleting WordPerfect, VisiCalc, Netscap
      • If you need a Windows Mobile phone to do it, there's a goodly percentage of folks that aren't interested in investing that much in their cell. And a lot of those that are already carry Blackberries.

        Like the other markets they've tried to break into, *THEY DON'T OWN THE PLATFORM HERE*, so their ability to strangle the competition (RIP Netscape) is limited. May it remain so.
    • Re:No time soon... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MSFanBoi2 (930319)
      Lets get a few things cleared up.

      1.) BES, either Domino/Notes or Exchange (I support both) is far from stable. Between lost emails from/to handhelds, MDS errors or such, I spend about 4 hours a week supporting 1500 users on two BES (on for Exchange one for Domino/Notes). The Good Technologies solution is MUCH more robust and stable by a far margin.

      2.) Windows Mobile powered crackberries are already supported by Exchange Server 2003 SP2. And it works quite well.

      3.) There really are not all that many
      • Re:No time soon... (Score:3, Informative)

        by rkhalloran (136467)
        >>3.) There really are not all that many Blackberry users out there versus Exchange users (or even Domino users)

        No argument there.

        The point is what number of them are likely to be interested that aren't already on Blackberry? The existing base has already spent the money, and how much of the remainder are potential customers? Not everyone is interested in 24/7 email into their cells.
      • 3.) There really are not all that many Blackberry users out there versus Exchange users (or even Domino users)


        Wow, you must not be in the Washington DC metro area!!!

      • Running BES 3.6 on Exchange 2003 here. Have no problems, runs flawlessly. Are you using 4.0?
  • How much does a BES server + CALS (or equivalent) cost? I don't have a clue, never having had the chance to set one up. However, I will bet that it's insignificant compared to the monthly cost of the data service. In Canada, the RIM data plans are about $40/mo.

    A Microsoft Exchange centered system is not going to reduce the cost of the monthly wireless plans unless the cell provider is willing to take less profit on the MS devices. They won't unless competition forces the issue.

    I suppose that MS cou
    • The workgroup/small biz edition of BES includes 5 cals and costs $1500. I believe additional CALs are $200-250ish. I imagine that if you work with a cell provider, you could do better as they have a huge interest in getting you hooked on BES.
    • by Linker3000 (626634) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:30PM (#14710139) Journal
      In our company we use Orange (UK) Smartphones set up to pull mail (POP3) from a Linux server running Postfix, MailScanner, ClamAV, Razor and SpamAssassin.

      That's it.

      The only contracted costs are the broadband link, phone rental and call charges.

      No licences, no hosted servers, no ($$) Exchange server and no ($$) Blackberry Server.

      Nuff said.
      • ...and no real-time push delivery of messages when they arrive in your mailbox.

        Sounds like a "good enough" solution, or a "good for the money" solution.

        • And if you set your phone to check for mail every 10 mins and you have a contract that allow free calls to specified 'business-connected' phone lines you have a workable solution without the need for proprietary servers and very little cost. We also use via wifi links from our PDAs - VERY workable.
    • A BES typically retails around $3000 with 5 CALs. Each CAL is TYPICALLY 60-80 bucks depending on your relationship with the reseller and your bulk discount.

      Most larger companies have data service agreements in place which take into account the montly cost of the data service which more or less takes care of any huge expenses. For example here we pay $40 per month in fees regardless of the amount of data sent/recieved.

      The MS solution sure will be cheaper if they continue with the route SP2 for Exchange
    • A small company I worked for was quoted £20,000 for a fully installed blackberry server. This was to support a single phone for a manager who liked his blackberry (everyone else was using Exchanged based mobiles already).

      We passed on the offer... the blackberry was dumped.
  • by Medievalist (16032) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:16PM (#14709996)
    ...this will allow companies to skip over the cost of installing a Blackberry server, and instead just use the Exchange servers that they are already using.
    Well, that rules out any large corporation with a robust, cost-effective infrastructure.
  • so we can put in more hours?

    Yep, it'll be a lot of extra work keeping these things safe.

  • Late as usual (Score:3, Insightful)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:18PM (#14710027) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft's late to the game as usual [msversus.org]. The idea is so obvious is should have come out many years ago. But Microsoft can never sit back. They can't stand to let any segment of the computer market go untouched. But rather than innovate they don't think of what customers want most until some other company has already filled the void successfully. This will definitely be another second-rate product [msversus.org] losing revenue. That definitely won't help their stagnant stock price either.
  • by Mantrid (250133) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:20PM (#14710042) Journal
    Blackberry works great for people with no servers etc. Our mobile solution has been Goodlink which makes the Treo a force to be reckoned with (if you get a working Treo that is, but that's another issue...), it can also run on some blackberries(I think) and WinCE.

    Support for mobiles built in exchange? Bye-bye Goodlink at $300 a seat.
  • Wrong question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GIL_Dude (850471)
    The question becomes, now that this technology is cheaper, will my VP be buying new Windows Mobile enabled cell phones for his entire department just so we can put in more hours?

    That's a pretty stupid question. Phrased that way, the VP would be an idiot unless he has a chunk of change for over time or wants to be sure that he doesn't have some stupid IT people show up at a company function (muwahaha, I'll have them install stuff during the party so they can't show up - muwaaahhhaaahaha).

    What the real
  • This is not as good (Score:3, Informative)

    by alextheseal (653421) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:26PM (#14710105)
    I hooked up a few of these. This is definitely a Ver 1.0 or Ver 2.0 Microsoft effort. After hooking it up I tried to sync my 1000+ contacts, and it gave up the ghost at ~100, with no errors mind you. Also "push" is not seamless like a RIM, it goes out via the carrier's SMTP to SMS gateway so in some cases it gets crushed in carrier's SPAM filters. Never mind that a very common setup of no front-end OWA server is not supported out of the box, but via "knowledge base" article.

    This is not ready for prime time.
  • I wonder if microsoft's strategy here is really the best. They almost always find ways to package software like e-mail and other mobile computing applications into cell phones, where, mobile e-mail and cell phones can actually be better off separated (in terms of the wireless worker). Consider this, you own a business. You decide that everyone on your staff needs mobile e-mail. Do you A: get them a system that allows them to send and recieve e-mail, or B: get them all "cell phones" that they can also us
  • Harness the OX (Score:2, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196)
    Why bother using Exchange and crappy MS phones when you can use Open-Xchange [open-xchange.org] and push messages with its SyncML [open-xchange.org] Oxtension to a real phone, including a Blackberry or Treo?
  • Security? MDS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anicklin (244316) <slashdot AT nicklin DOT info> on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:40PM (#14710228) Homepage
    While access to e-mail, calendar, contacts, notes, and to-dos are all useful functions of a blackberry that's connected to a corporate Exchange server, I can see a couple of issues:

    1) Microsoft isn't exactly known for security. To my knowledge there have been very few hacks of the RIM BES product because of its' nature - it establishes outbound-only connections to the RIM servers which then link back to the wireless providers.

    2) MDS. The BES allows (via this same set of secured connections) access to the corporate intranet servers (assuming it's configured to do so). I personally have found this to be a very, very useful feature. Lots of stuff in our daily business does not live in the realm of Exchange, but might live in the realm of our intranet servers. RIM made this easy by allowing admins to avoid worrying about VPN tunnels or SSL connections. Set it up, and it just works. I have a feeling that this product offering might not compete in this arena.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:42PM (#14710250)
    Microsoft can never provide the one BlackBerry 'killer app', and that's PIN messaging. PINs are encrypted end-to-end and never are visible to anyone other than the sender and receiver. As the underlying protocol that carries the other messages (email for example) on the BlackBerry system, they are highly secure and that's why governments trust the system for such messages. But email uses untrusted servers and crosses app boundaries - PINs don't - so only a PIN can be trusted.

    For those that don't know, PIN messages are transferred through the BlackBerry network from the sender's 'berry over a dedicated GPRS APN using AES encryption. After that, they are passed up to Waterloo ON where they are routed - without being decrypted - to the destination, where the reverse of the sending occurs. Note that nowhere does the BES or email enter into this.

    For savvy but non-technical users (i.e. many executives) who want to keep their conversations private, a PIN simply can't be beat - you've got a commercial service which guarantees delivery (you can check when your PIN arrives with a little 'D' in your sent items) and guarantees security. Plus you don't have to pass around public keys to make it work.

    Yes, you can do email any number of different ways. And yes, you could secure messages with AES encryption although nowhere near as easily as this. But to get all of that in a box with ease of use that pleases executives... hard to beat RIM on this one.
    • Plus you don't have to pass around public keys to make it work.

      Then how does it work? If you don't have a public key to do your AES key exchange, seems like it's nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Or maybe you just have to trust RIM not to play man-in-the-middle. But if it pleases the executives...
    • http://www.computerworld.com/printthis/2005/0,4814 ,98984,00.html [computerworld.com]


      Lawsuit Reveals an Open BlackBerry
      Canadian bank submits intercepted PIN messages as evidence against ex-execs

      News Story by Jaikumar Vijayan

      JANUARY 17, 2005 (COMPUTERWORLD) - Private messages exchanged using corporate BlackBerry wireless devices may not be quite so private after all. In fact, even the so-called PIN messages that many users thought were untraceable can be logged.
      The lack of BlackBerry privacy became clear in a lawsuit filed in T
  • by Conanymous Award (597667) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:43PM (#14710260)
    Isn't the software monopoly enough for Microsoft? Now they want to replace my food! Shoo, Bill! I won't eat some shoddy CD-roms with my breakfast yoghurt!
  • The PDAs I've used or attempted to use...

    Handspring Visor
    iPaq 3600
    Jornada 548
    iPaq 3800
    Jornada 568
    T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition
    Sony Clie SJ22

    I finally switched back to Palm. An older device, refurbished, that suits me better than any of the Windows Powered devices or the newer PalmOS handhelds.

    Microsoft improved things in each new device, but only at the cost of a reduction in capability in other areas. But the difference between these devices and a Palm, let alone a Blackberry, is incredible. Rather than
  • How It Works (Score:5, Informative)

    by nathanh (1214) on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:51PM (#14710351) Homepage

    This is all based on second-hand information, so some of it might be wrong, but here's my understanding of how it works.

    Getting mail to to a WinCE PDA has always been easy. The standard technique was POP or IMAP over whatever Internet connection you can finagle (eg, GPRS). However that was always a pull technique and the thing about crackberry addicts is they want the mail to appear on their PDA as soon as it arrives at the mail server (push). One technique is to send an SMS every time a mail arrives so the PDA knows to check the server, another technique is to poll the server frequently, but both of those techniques can be very expensive.

    The new WinCE enabled PDA achieves push by opening an HTTP XML request back to your Outlook Web Access server. It sends the username and then just waits. If any mail arrives then the OWA sends back a "ping" message that tells the PDA to pull the new mail. When the HTTP request times out the PDA simply opens a new connection. Effectively this works the same as push - mail "appears" on the PDA as soon as the Exchange server gets it - but without excessive bandwidth costs or SMS costs. It also means you don't need special crackberry servers or a crackberry subscription.

    So my guess is that this will be the downfall of crackberry, and not a moment too soon.

    • Re:How It Works (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheVoice900 (467327)
      So basically it's still only polling, just with a long timeout.
    • Getting mail to to a WinCE PDA has always been easy. The standard technique was POP or IMAP over whatever Internet connection you can finagle (eg, GPRS). However that was always a pull technique and the thing about crackberry addicts is they want the mail to appear on their PDA as soon as it arrives at the mail server (push).

      Why not use the IMAP4 IDLE command [faqs.org]? This is the standard mechanism for making mail appear instantly over IMAP. Microsoft in this case writes both the client and the server, so they sh

    • It also means you don't need special crackberry servers or a crackberry subscription. So my guess is that this will be the downfall of crackberry, and not a moment too soon.

      Is there something I don't know about Blackberry reliability? So, you think it's better to use one of the least secure and most expensive mail servers because it has a special method to talk to a WinCE crippled PDA? WinCE and "Smart Phones" have both have records about as good as Exchange. Why are you so ready to jump on this?

      Are y


  • The good:
    ------------------
    1) If the real-life version works as well as the virtual PC demo I participated in, it will do exactly what the marketing materials say it does.
    2) It not only synchs email, but todo, contacts, appointments, etc. Everything but public folders, I think.
    3) On the server side, all of the software required to do push sync is free with Exchange Server 2003.

    The bad:
    ------------------
    1) Phone requires Windows Mobile 5.0, plus a sync driver/module thingy that (groan) HAS TO BE INSTALLED ON THE PHONE BY THE MOBILE VENDOR.
    2) Support for this configuration is, well, going to suck because the mobile vendors will push you through their help desk (pretty much guaranteed to NOT understand this), and Microsoft can't support the mobile piece of the puzzle directly, even though it's technically their software.
    3) The range of services over which mobile vendors will be able to exert their control has been expanded to include private corporate messaging, appointments and task lists! Yay!!!!
  • by thesandbender (911391) on Monday February 13, 2006 @04:09PM (#14710540)
    I work at a small-sized consulting firm, last year a few of the managers/execs so me with a a Siemens SX-66 Windows Mobile Phone that I bought on my own dime and decided that they wanted one. So, they bought about a dozen and they were universally despised. The software was finicky, they Sprint models they had behaved differently than my Cingular model and they all developed mechnical problems and broke after a while. Mine, well it's still running fine, but I treat it like what it is... a small computer and not a phone. After much belly-aching and nashing of teeth we got crackberries. They just work. They're not the most technically amazing things, the screens aren't great, etc, etc, etc. But they work, they don't break that easily and they're almost idiot proof... perfect for today's office environment.
  • An Assumption (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Monday February 13, 2006 @04:10PM (#14710550)
    just use the Exchange servers that they are already using.

    That assumes you're using Exchange in the first place. Not everybody does.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2006 @04:13PM (#14710566)
    Consider this:

    One of the main reasons that Blackberries are so popular is their use in Government. This is primarily due to the Blackberries being through several certification processes to demonstrate that they are secure and can be used to manage materiel classified up to a specific level.

    The other is that they work.

    Now, try to see Microsoft doing the same. They can barely get certification for products that are nearing EOL. Any Windows powered device in this kind of an environment is doomed to fail.

    One of the guys here has a Windows powered smartphone - he's forever power cycling the damn thing, or just tossing it in his top drawer and walking away.

    Personally I hate Blackberries - they are a PITA to manage with the executive where I work.

    But I'd have to hate a Windows powered equivalent even more.

  • by AviLazar (741826)
    The question becomes, now that this technology is cheaper, will my VP be buying new Windows Mobile enabled cell phones for his entire department just so we can put in more hours?

    Yes, your VP will spend extra money (for the phones, any overtime/comp time and having to listen to you demand a higher raise) just to make you have to put in more hours. Come on dude, I know people like to be melodramatic but let's be at least reasonably sensible about it.
  • Antitrust? Exchange? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jocknerd (29758) on Monday February 13, 2006 @04:19PM (#14710619)
    Hey, if there can be an antitrust suit over itunes and the iPod, then maybe the courts could give us one over Exchange. Force MS to open the specs to Exchange.
  • If you have Exchange server 2003 and a Palm Treo 650, you can now receive all your data stored in Outlook/Exchange without the need of a middle tier like Goodlink or Blackberry.

    Our company plans to roll out Verizon based Treo 700w units later this year connected to Exchange without a Blackberry or Goodlink server.

    I predicted (the demise of Blackberry and Goodlink) a year ago when we first connected a Treo to our Exchange server. Why would we continue to pay Goodlink when we get similar functionality withou
  • Well, from my personal experience, MS pda-phones are just as ass-backwards as Windows is, whereas the few times I've used a BlackBerry I found it pretty straightforward and had no problem at all getting to the functions I wanted to use. Frankly the only reason I see to use MS' new device(s) is to maintain a high level of synchronization with an office-place workstation with contacts, calendar and emails... Which AFAIK BlackBerry does anyways, so...

    (not to mention RIM doesn't seem to have that same "take ove
  • Ewh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday February 13, 2006 @04:35PM (#14710810) Journal
    I had to work with one of MS'es early attemps at the smartphone market and. Ewh. Ewh EWh EWH.

    It just, ewh.

    Oh okay, how bad was it? Well ewh. Yes it is childish but it was just so... ewh. I can't really put it in anyother way. Mediocre perhaps but that ain't it. Bad? No the basic idea was okay but just well done in an ewh way. Not so much buggy as just not working.

    Offcourse it had to be rebooted or rather reset every few hours. Of course it froze and of course programs crashed. It was a first generation MS product. But that wasn't the only problem, anyway the unit I worked with was a test unit not a final production unit so it might have improved later (yeah right).

    What was the real problem? Well take the browser. It was a crap version of IE (or should that be crappier? Crapiest?) version 5 I think with NO css support at all. None. Bit of a nasty shock to our designer that was.

    It was a bitch to delvelop for when you got it to work. Meanwhile the other unit was one of those nokia phones, the one you got if you were a good boy, with an opera browser that was just like a real browser.

    It for me was a typical MS product, badly done, half done and not finished. Did it sell? Yeah it did, not well but well enough. That is MS entire business strategy I think. Flood the industry with products that are crap but get accepted by the morons to force everyone to support MS.

    It is kinda like IE. Every web builder knows that IE is the worst browser ever build but it is the one that controls what you can and cannot do on a website. Just today I had to tell someone that to have a fixed bar at the bottom of a website is not possible on their site because IE does not properly support css position: fixed. Works perfect in every browser except IE so you cannot use it on mainstream sites.

    Will MS sell these phones to people that should have bought blackberry's. Off course. Probably not enough to be successfull but enough to force everyone to once again limit themselves to the lowest common denomenator.

    Yuck. Someone please make my day and shoot a MS user.

    • Re:Ewh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by trixtah (954281)

      Someone please make my day and shoot a pretentious git who doesn't know what he's talking about.

      I've had to work with Macs (OS 7 - MacTCP, anyone?) and early linux. And they sucked just as mightily. If you want to try and sound like you have an intelligent opinion, you could at least try a recent product. So what if you tried something over 5 years ago - that's like 50 years in IT terms.

      Windows Mobile 5 is pretty decent, actually. Although, of course, there is room for improvement. If you have some obse

  • I hear they are going to FUCKING KILL GOOGLE TOO!

    Nobody remembers the failures like MS Bob, Web TV, Windows For Pens.

    And I'm also I'm sick of articles about iPod killers.
  • BFD (Score:3, Informative)

    by penguin-collective (932038) on Monday February 13, 2006 @05:16PM (#14711251)
    Using IMAP IDLE, you get push capabilities with a lot of mail readers. On Palm, for example, there's Chatter E-mail.

    I have never understood why Blackberry has become so popular--I find the device, the user interface, and the service to be just awful compared to the alternatives.
  • Free the BB server (Score:2, Interesting)

    by alexborges (313924)
    If blackberry has any brains on its company, now would be a good time to give away their server as a GPL compatible thing.

    This way, we (as in you and me) could make many FOSS groupware work with their POSH protocol and give MS a true run for their money.

    On the other hand, BB would see their devices sales increase by leveraging on FOSS messanging solutions and i think we would have a chance to finally push MS the fuck out of that space (email and PIMS).

  • " instead just use the Exchange servers that they are already using "

    They're using Exchange? That's a pretty bold statement.

    And with Microsoft's security record...

    -M
  • For all the complaints about the BES, you don't even need it. A simple .forward(or .procmailrc) takes care of getting your "old" address to go to your blackberry.

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