The depth of integration between Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Exchange Server provides some really cool capabilities. Much of this integration is achieved through the Exchange ActiveSync® (EAS) protocol—version 14.0 is what ships with Windows Phone 7.
EAS emerged in the days of Exchange Server 2003, and has undergone many changes and improvements since then—and the number of EAS features has steadily increased. One noteworthy feature in EAS version 14.0 is syncing of message reply state, which makes sure that the device and the server know if any message has been forwarded or replied to from any source—Microsoft Outlook® on the desktop, Outlook Anywhere (browser), or Windows Phone 7.
Although it’s been around since the first release of EAS, Direct Push is a great example of Exchange Server integration. Direct Push keeps Windows Phone 7 devices current by communicating with the Exchange Server, protecting communications using Secure Socket Layer (SSL). If a change is made to a user’s mailbox, Exchange issues a notification to the phone to initiate synchronization. In this way, Windows Phone 7 devices are updated almost immediately—users are notified of new email messages or changes in their calendar and contacts, which means they can respond quickly when necessary. More information about Direct Push, including firewall configuration considerations, is available in the Understanding Direct Push topic on Microsoft TechNet.
Another cool feature of EAS and Exchange Server on Windows Phone 7 is Autodiscover, which makes it simple for users to set up their accounts, connect, and start being productive as quickly as possible. There’s no need to figure out cryptic server names ahead of time—connectivity is a breeze. More information about Autodiscover is available in the TechNet topic Understanding Exchange ActiveSync Autodiscover.
“Windows Phone 7 security and management” and “Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Exchange Server,” two new technical articles for IT pros, explain security features and EAS security–related policies that are supported on Windows Phone 7. These articles are now available on the Windows Phone 7 Guides for IT Professionals page on the Microsoft Download Center.