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« Outlook 2007 comparison chart | Main | The week of December 11th in My Digital Life »

December 08, 2006


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I agree with this assessment. The fact of the matter is, corporations run Exchange. I have said for about a year now that people have and get new Blackberries out of habit and not out of necessity. The fact that BlackBerry servers are required (including licensing and yearly maintenance fees) to connect to Exchange is going to hurt long-term. They had a good thing going until Windows Mobile 5 / Exchange 2003 came around. And the fact that people's phones are configurable like their PCs will only speed that process along more. As the price drops on Windows Mobile devices AND wireless broadband (3G and above, whatever that might be) becomes more available you'll see Microsoft take over, if not on devices themselves then at least through licensing of ActiveSync or whatever else may come.


I think licensing the ActiveSync protocol is going to be the key piece for Microsoft when it comes to increasing their smartphone market share. People want flexibility when it comes to mobile devices and yet want to be able to leverage their large investment in Exchange across all of them. We should also remember that, compared to the total number of exchange seats out there, only a few are 'mobilized' at this point. So even though BlackBerry has the biggest piece, it's a piece of a fairly small pie in the grand scheme of things. I don't think increasing Microsoft's marketshare necessarily means 'converting' BlackBerry users; it will be more about educating and swaying those who aren't mobile yet but will be soon. Licensing the ActiveSync technology to phone and OS manufacturers as well as independent software companies like DataViz means ActiveSync is now available on just about any phone you can think of. This licensing model that Microsoft is using, along with the big improvements to usability and security (both from SP2 for Exchange 2003 and the new Exchange 2007 features) seems to lend itself to a big market share increase over the next 3-5 years.

Stephen Skarlatos

Excellent analysis Jason, I could not agree more.

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