Microsoft launches cert program for Exchange mobile access

Microsoft will certify mobile applications using ActiveSync's enterprise management features

Microsoft has started a certification program that identifies consumer mobile handsets best supporting Microsoft Exchange's most crucial management capabilities, the company announced Wednesday.

The certification will help system administrators better manage those handsets that employees use to access to work e-mail, calendars and other information from Exchange servers.

"IT pros who are supporting Exchange for their user bases are dealing with an increasing number of consumer-purchased devices," said Ian Hameroff, Microsoft's group product manager for Exchange partner marketing. The certification will give administrators the ability to "more easily identify which mobile devices are best suited to work with Exchange and its security and management policies."

The certification will also allow end users to identify which mobile devices will be able to work most effectively with their workplace's Exchange infrastructure, Hameroff added. The certification will be represented by a new logo, which OEMs (original equipment vendors) can place on their phones.

The program has already certified a number of phones, including the iPhone (running version iOS 4.0 or later), any devices running Windows Phone 7 or Windows Mobile 6.5, and Nokia devices running Nokia Mail For Exchange (versions 3.0.5 or later).

The certification process examines which parts of the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) mobile synchronization protocol have been implemented. In many cases, handset software only uses a subset of the protocol. "Quite often there are inconsistencies in how the EAS is actually implemented on these devices. There is no hard-and-fast rules about which one of these pieces of functionality the client implements," Hameroff said.

Certain features, however, may be essential to meet organizational policy. With the certification program, and corresponding logo, administrators know which consumer devices can be easily hooked into the organizational infrastructure.

The 14 mandatory features are mostly those centered around helping organizations manage their data. They include: the ability to send and read rich formatted email; the ability to accept, decline and tentatively accept meetings; the ability to look up contacts on Exchange; the ability to remotely erase all the data on the device; the requirement of a password; a minimum password length; for the device to shut down after a predetermined period of user inactivity; and for the device to permanently lock-up after a number of attempts to log in with the incorrect password.

"Say you lose you device, or leave it in a taxi, it is very easy for the IT pro or end user to go right into Outlook and remotely wipe the device, removing any business data off of it," Hameroff said.

Applicants must license use of the EAS protocol from Microsoft, and must use EAS version 14 or later.

Testing and certification will be done through a third-party testing firm, which will follow a set of requirements developed by Microsoft engineers. Hameroff said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsconsumer electronicsMicrosofte-mailsmartphonesiPhonePhonesPhone applicationssoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?