palmOne has just announced that it has licensed Microsoft’s Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol to allow future Treo smartphones to synchronize with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.
Treo users will benefit by being able to link to Exchange Server 2003 data, including email and calendar information, using palmOne’s VersaMail application. No additional software will need to be installed on the smartphone in order for users to do wireless server-based synchronization.
Many mobile email solutions require a third-party server to be installed to act as a conduit between the email server and a handheld or smartphone. This won’t be required with future Treo devices, because the Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol will be built into them.
“palmOne has built its brand on making complex technologies easy to use, and having wireless synchronization to Exchange 2003 available out-of-the-box will enhance our smartphone customers’ experience while slashing company IT costs,” said Ed Colligan, president, palmOne.
Take That, BlackBerry!
This move is part of palmOne’s plan to make the Treo line more appealing to large companies.
The BlackBerry line of wireless handhelds has captured much of the mobile email market, but additional software (the BlackBerry Enterprise Server) must be installed, and supported, in order for these devices to be able to communicate with Exchange Server.
Future Treo devices will not need any additional software in order to be able to do the same thing.
palmOne didn’t say when this feature will be available, but it is likely to be part of the Treo 650, which is expected to be announced later this month.