Deep Dive into Windows Mobile 6.0 and Exchange Server 2007


Shortly after the release of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, the newest version of Windows Mobile – Windows Mobile 6 was released. Formerly codenamed Crossbow, this release contains a number of enterprise ready features designed to work natively with Exchange Server 2007 to provide a robust mobile experience. In this post I'll provide an overview of the features available when using Exchange 2007 and Windows Mobile 6.0. For comparison, I'll also provide some information about the capabilities of Windows Mobile 5.0.

Windows Mobile Feature Matrix


First, let's examine the differences between Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 6.0. That is best done through use of a table. Note: This table provides information about synchronization with Exchange Server 2007. Previous versions of Microsoft Exchange Server do not provide all of these features.


































































Feature


Windows Mobile 6.0


Windows Mobile 5.0 with MSFP


Direct Push


Yes


Yes


Email, Calendar, and Contact Synchronization


Yes


Yes


Task Synchronization


Yes


Yes


HTML Email Support


Yes


No


Message Flags


Yes


No


Meeting Attendee Information


Yes


No


Out of Office Management


Yes


No


Exchange Search


Yes


No


Windows SharePoint Services and Windows file share (UNC) document access


Yes


No


Inline Message Fetch


Yes


No


Exchange ActiveSync Policy Support


Yes


Yes


Remote Device Wipe


Yes


Yes


SSL Encryption


Yes


Yes


Device Certificate for Authentication Management


Yes


No


Recovery Password


Yes


No


You'll probably recognize parts of this table from my previous blog post: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/04/06/437572.aspx .

There are several new features with Windows Mobile 6.0. These include the following:


  • Support for HTML message format
  • Support for message flags
  • Support for Meeting Attendee Information
  • Out of Office Management
  • Exchange Search
  • Inline Message Fetch
  • Windows SharePoint Services and Windows file share (UNC) document access
  • Device Certificate for Authentication Management

In the following pages, I'll explore a number of these features.

HTML Message Format

One of the most visually exciting features of Windows Mobile 6.0 is the ability to view HTML formatted email messages on your mobile device. The first figure shows a side by side comparison of an HTML formatted email message. The emulator on the left is the email displayed on a Windows Mobile 5.0 device. The emulator on the right is the email displayed on a Windows Mobile 6.0 device:


Here's how the email message displayed in Microsoft Outlook:


As you can see, there is some formatting that is not preserved. Fonts that are not included within the Windows Mobile 6.0 code are displayed in the default font. However, colors are displayed properly as are any graphics and other elements such as tables. In addition to the display of colors and graphics, Windows Mobile 6.0 allows you to scroll left to right in the email message. This allows you to view tables as they were intended to be viewed. Simply click on the hyperlink "Tap to Scroll Right" and you will be able to scroll within the message.

Message Flags

Windows Mobile 6.0 provides support for message flags. Outlook 2007 supports a variety of message flags. The available flags include: Today, Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week, No Date, and Custom. Windows Mobile 6.0 provides support for only a single type of message flag, the Today flag. The following figure shows both the menu for flagging a message as well as a flagged message in the Inbox.


Calendaring Improvements

Windows Mobile 6.0 includes a variety of calendaring improvements. The figure below shows a typical calendar view on Windows Mobile 6.0. As you can see, Windows Mobile 6.0 provides an agenda bar at the top of the screen to show you at a glance where your appointments fall across the day. In addition to this enhanced view, you can also now create meeting requests on your Windows Mobile device. Windows Mobile 5.0 allowed you to create new appointments, but not to invite attendees or view attendee information of scheduled meetings.


Meeting Attendee Information

When you have a meeting scheduled with Windows Mobile 6.0, you can view attendee information such as required and optional attendees and resources. You can also create meeting requests and invite contacts in your contacts folder or online from your Global Address list.


Out of Office Management

Have you ever left the office and forgotten to set your Out of Office? Well, now you can set your Out of Office status and message directly from a Windows Mobile 6.0 mobile device. From the Pocket Outlook application, choose Menu,
Tools, and Out of Office to display the user interface displayed in the following figure. While Exchange 2007 and Outlook 2007 allow you to set both of your internal and external Out of Office Settings, Windows Mobile 6.0 only allows you to set one Out of Office status and message. That message and status will be set as both your internal and external Out of Office message.


Inline Message Fetch

If you've used previous versions of Windows Mobile to access email messages, you've probably been frustrated with having to mark a long message for download, then close the message, then synchronize, then open the message again. With Windows Mobile 6.0, downloading the remainder of a large message is only a click away. Within the message, click "Get the rest of this message" and the message will immediately download and display.

Exchange Search

Typically, Exchange ActiveSync and your mobile device download and store the past three days of messages. While you can change this setting, doing so isn't always practical for devices with small amounts of memory. Even if you have plenty of device memory, you will probably not synchronize every folder and every message. If you need to search for a message that's not stored on your phone, you can do this with Windows Mobile 6.0. Select Menu, Tools, and Search Server to display the screen shown in the following figure.


In Conclusion

So, now that I've tempted you with all of the cool new features available with Exchange 2007 and Windows Mobile 6.0, how do you get Windows Mobile 6.0? Mobile operators such as Cingular and T-Mobile have just started releasing updates for some of their Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. In particular, the T-Mobile Dash and Cingular's Samsung BlackJack have already announced availability. Other devices should be available over the next few months. As new devices are announced, I'll try to come back to this post and leave a comment.

- Patricia DiGiacomo

Comments (22)
  1. pesospesos says:

    Very cool!  The Treo 750 will also be getting a winmobile 6.0 upgrade, Palm has announced.  They haven’t mentioned whether or not the 700w/700wx will  :-(

    -Wes

  2. Nighttrain771 says:

    Cool stuff!  But the real question is:  Are all these features dependent on Exchange 2007?  Or can I get some of these in My E2K3 environment?

  3. Klettergriffe onlineshop says:

    Very cool, thnaks for the detailes.

    See you,

    Peter :-)

  4. lee says:

    Will there be an emulator available for download?

  5. bday says:

    Thats some great stuff there. :) I didn’t notice the ability to encrypt data stored on the device listed this time though. It would be great if someone could put together what new features WM6.0 running on Exchange 2003 will get (if any) since 2003 has many more implementations out there compared to 2007.

  6. Patricia DiGiacomo says:

    Nighttrain: These features are dependent on Exchange 2007. Of course, some of them will work with Exchange 2003 SP2, such as Direct Push, but if you want HTML email, message flags, Exchange search, and SharePoint document access, you’ll need Exchange 2007.

    Lee: There is an emulator available.
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=06111a3a-a651-4745-88ef-3d48091a390b&DisplayLang=en

  7. Wim says:

    What if i use Exchange 2007 CAS only to connect to legacy Exchange 2003 Server. What features work and what will not?

  8. Patricia DiGiacomo says:

    Wim: The features you get are dependent on the mailbox server version. So if you’re using an Exchange 2007 CAS with a legacy Exchange 2003 Server, you’ll get the Exchange 2003 experience.

  9. DReller says:

    FYI:  T-Mobile just released (on 5/22) the Wing, which is a WM 6.0 device.  Similar in size, and with the same slide-out keyboard, as the MDA.

  10. Alex Kac says:

    A lot of what Exchange 2007 + WM6 provides can be had today with FlexMail 2007 Rev 2 with an IMAP server. Flags, HTML email, message searching, push email, two way live synching,and so on. Couple that with Pocket Informant and you get a full office on your PDA – WM5 or WM6. And even better, on WM6 we take advantage of even more WM6 only features so you get the best experience on a WM6 device with Pocket Informant and FlexMail.

    The WM6 apps are great for the basics but when you need more, you should look at FM and PI.

  11. gcherke says:

    What about being able to color code emails? For example, all emails coming from a Yahoo domain would be black, Gmail would be red, and MSN would be blue.

  12. Rich Michael says:

    IMHO, Flex Mail 2007 does not even come close. It sounds good, until you try it. It also is hard ot remove all the reg entries, that are not auto removed during uninstall. It causes device instability, is a resource hog, a still needs a lot of work. Flex Mail and IMAP server does not even come close to Exchange 2007 and WM6.

    Maybe for nOOB, but definitely not for a serious mobile work force.  Just my opinion. But if you search the web, you will find many people with the same impression.

    I just wish Exchange 2007 ran on Windows server 32. It can be very costly and long testing and install to switch an exchange 2007 and install new servers running windows server 64. Not too many people have several servers laying around that they can install Windows Server 64, Set up the cluster(s) and then install the front end and back end server(s) of Exchange 2007. It really builds on 2003 and has many more features and advantages, but cost is also a factor.  

  13. Dean Scully says:

    You didn’t go into any kind of detail on the "Device Certificate for Authentication Management" and I can’t seem to find any real information on how to use this or how it works? Do you have any other information on this?

  14. Steven Bink says:

    The inline message fetch works on Mobile 5. I use it all the time.

  15. Michael Hysen says:

    Yes I would also like more information on the "Device Certificate for Authentication Management".  One of my challenges with mobility is ensuring the device is the device originally assigned to the user.  Currently by entering their url, username and password users can auto provision any device they like.  This is a hugh security risk, as an attacker all I need are those details, and I have your email.  How can I stop users from self provisioning devices?  How can I be sure the device connecting is the one I originally assigned, and not a compromised device with a stolen certificate?

  16. John R says:

    What about the ability to find user addresses in the GAL, is this part of the WM6 client or is it an add-on like WM5?

  17. Rick Kingslan says:

    Steven Bink:  Granted, you’re right.  Selection and download of the entirety of a message is available in WM 5.0.  Of course, with WM 5.0, the number of steps is a bit more:  Select message, Menu -> Download Retrieve Messages.  at this point, now you can read the rest of the message.

    With WM 6.0, select to retieve the message.  Go read message.  Is it better?  Only if you don’t want to do the other steps required in 5.0.

    :-)

  18. Patricia DiGiacomo says:

    John R: Finding users in the GAL is part of WM6. Actually, it’s part of WM 5 as well as long as you’re using MSFP.

  19. Amit says:

    What all Exchange server versions are supported by windows Mobile 6.0? Does it work with Exchange 2000?

    Amit

  20. papashango says:

    Hello, Patricia!  Great write-up!  Couple of questions/comments…I have a Sprint Mogul (WM6) but I do not have some of the features you talk about (flag, out of office).  My company had been using Exchange 2003 and migrated me to 2007 this weekend.  I am trying to change the Exchange server information but cannot change my username or domain (they changed in the migration).  Got any ideas?

  21. lmcfarlin says:

    Like papashango, I’ve also been hoping to find some way of changing Exchange server details.  Username and domain appear to be locked.  So far, the only workaround I could find was to erase all my data and reset the phone to factory settings.

  22. lmcfarlin says:

    I’ll go ahead and answer my own question here for others to benefit from.  I found the answer at:  http://www.mmmug.co.uk/blogs/nweb/archive/2007/07/16/1377.aspx.

    To paraphrase, Start…ActiveSync…Settings…Exchange Account…Menu…Delete.

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