Exchange ActiveSync: The Industry Standard for Mobile Messaging

The other day I was riding a shuttle bus between buildings on the Microsoft campus in Redmond and I took a few minutes to check my Outlook Mobile Inbox on my smartphone.  There wasn’t anything urgent I had to respond to immediately, but I did notice that one of my meetings later in the day had a location change, which was updated in my Calendar.  After a quick read, I deleted several emails, which didn’t need any action from me.  And then I arrived at my destination to continue on with my day.

I quickly check my Outlook Mobile Inbox like this a dozen times a day, each time clearing out a few items, occasionally acting upon something urgent.  The convenience and mobility of accessing my Inbox on my smartphone is integral to my day and I can’t imagine working without it.  The protocols that allow mobile messaging reside in Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).

Precursors to EAS appeared in Microsoft products as early as 2002, but Exchange has been offering access to mobile messaging since Exchange Server 2003 with an update in October 2005 and Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2.  In that Service Pack, the Exchange team released Exchange ActiveSync 2.5 with several groundbreaking features for end users and Exchange administrators.  Global Address List search and real-time push email was added.  Plus, the ability to remotely wipe a lost device of company data and password requirements gave administrators new levels of protection.  And since then, we have added even more features integrating SMS text messages, attachments, voicemail and multiple email accounts.

The EAS protocols have become the industry standard for mobile messaging synchronization.  But don’t just take our word for it, many leading companies license EAS for use on their phones and mobile operating systems, including Apple, Google, HP/Palm, HTC, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Symbian.

Our customers tell us that EAS is an important part of their business.  George Hamin, Director of E-Business and Information Systems at Subaru Canada, told us about the time he lost his phone in the back of a taxi and remotely wiped his phone.  He had tested the remote wipe capabilities of EAS beforehand, but it’s always different when it is your personal finances, contacts and banking information that are at risk.  We were very happy when we received the note below.

My Windows Phone was found in the back of the cab where I lost it, and I can now speak from personal experience that everything worked exactly as it was supposed to. I have been trying to retrieve my files from this unit and its external storage card using some fairly sophisticated file recovery tools with no success. The files are gone.

You can read a case study on Subaru Canada and their deployment of Exchange Server 2010 and EAS.  Other great EAS customers include Vilnius International Airport and Paul Smith.

A couple of additional resources available to you today are a Microsoft News Center article on EAS licensing and an EHLO blog post on configuring access, backup, and quarantine of EAS devices.  And check out an introductory video on the features of EAS.

Julia White

Senior Director, Exchange Product Management

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