Symbian Licenses Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync Protocol

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Symbian Limited today announced that it has licensed the Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol for use in its operating system for mobile phones, the Symbian OS.

Under the terms of the agreement, Symbian will develop an Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol plug-in for the Symbian OS messaging architecture. This will let Symbian OS licensees include in their phones direct over-the-air (OTA) synchronization of email, calendar, contacts, and other personal information management (PIM) data with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

Symbian will continue to support a wide range of email and PIM synchronization protocols, such as RIM’s BlackBerry Connect as well as the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Data Synchronization protocol.

Symbian “Developing Microsoft’s Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol plug-in for Symbian OS continues Symbian’s drive to offer the broadest possible choice of email and PIM solutions. This will help all Symbian OS licensees meet the needs of the enterprise market,” said Marit Doving, executive vice president, Marketing, Symbian.

The terms of the licensing agreement between Symbian and Microsoft were not disclosed.

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Symbian Limited is far from the first company to go this route.

palmOne also licensed the ActiveSync protocol to allow Treo smartphones to synchronize with Microsoft Exchange Server. the Treo 650 was the first device from this company to include this feature.

In addition, Nokia announced last month that it had licensed the Exchange Server ActiveSync protocol, so it can build this functionality in its future smartphones and wireless handhelds.

Dave Thompson, corporate vice president of the Exchange Server Product Group at Microsoft, said, “Our goal, as evidenced by this agreement and licensing of our intellectual property, is to enhance end-user productivity and drive innovation in the mobile industry with an easy to implement, wireless email solution designed to lower IT costs.”

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