Smartphone Thoughts: Apple Licenses ActiveSync From Microsoft for iPhone

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Apple Licenses ActiveSync From Microsoft for iPhone

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Smartphone Competition" @ 11:36 AM

"Apple is hosting a media event today to outline the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) and "some exciting new enterprise features". There have been a collection of rumors suggesting that Apple may not be able to deliver the final SDK immediately. That hasn't stopped a number of companies, such as reQall (memory aid), Six Apart (blogging software), and Freeverse (sports games), from announcing their intentions to write iPhone native applications with the new SDK. Meanwhile MySpace and SlingMedia have been rumored to be early recipients of the unreleased development kit."

Love it or hate it, the iPhone is rapidly shaping up to be the 800 pound Gorilla in the US smartphone market, if not from a market-share perspective quite yet, certainly from a mindshare perspective. The iPhone is on fire, and Apple's announcement about the SDK is like gasoline on that fire - the iPhone represents a new, and quite likely lucrative market for developers to tap into (right Alex?). On the Windows Mobile side of things, we still have all that slick native Exchange support, so those iPhone users can keep their slick screen rotating to themselves. Uh, right? Wrong.

Apparently, Apple has licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft. Check it:

"Apple has licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft and will be incorporating native ActiveSync and Exchange support into the iPhone's existing apps (mail, cal, contacts)."

There were some kludges involving Plaxo to push Outlook data around, but native support means the iPhone now has the most potent feature for Enterprise markets. And if it's also easy to develop for, you'll likely see line of business applications appear for it - and that's not good news for Windows Mobile, which since the iPhone launch has had the unfortunate perception of being a stagnant platform (in the eyes of some).

Oh well - at least use Windows Mobile users can look up contacts much faster than the iPhone users can...for now.

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