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Summary:

Here’s an interesting tidbit I didn’t know about Palm’s Pre: The device can sync with multiple Microsoft Exchange accounts using ActiveSync. I haven’t used a Windows Mobile device in nearly two years, but unless I’m mistaken, not even those devices support multiple Exchange accounts. I know […]

palm-preHere’s an interesting tidbit I didn’t know about Palm’s Pre: The device can sync with multiple Microsoft Exchange accounts using ActiveSync. I haven’t used a Windows Mobile device in nearly two years, but unless I’m mistaken, not even those devices support multiple Exchange accounts. I know you’ll correct me if I’m wrong on that one, so don’t be shy. ;) I know that Apple’s iPhone only supports one Exchange account and Google’s Android platform doesn’t support it natively at all if the handset is branded “with Google.”

That’s been a pain for me, but not because I use Exchange. I used to have a hosted Exchange account, and it was awesome, but I dumped the cost of it when I went to Google’s Gmail. So why was this constraint a pain? Companies like Palm, Google and Apple all license Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology, and they use it to synchronize data like contacts and calendar items. Apple offers an Exchange configuration on its devices, and I’ve used Google Sync on other handsets. Since I have two mail accounts, one personal and one work, and therefore two distinct sets of data, I could really use a device that supports two Exchange accounts. Up to now, I’ve had to consolidate my contacts into one account, which isn’t ideal and I’m sharing calendars between two accounts — again, a less-than-perfect solution.

There’s actually plenty more info on the Pre from internal Sprint docs over at PreCentral. I reviewed the 23-page slide deck yesterday when I saw the multiple Exchange account support. It also appears that DataViz Documents To Go will be installed in ROM for viewing Microsoft Office docs, and Sprint SERO plans can’t be used with the Pre. Thanks Manu!

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  1. I know developers can rewrite their apps to run on WebOS as well, but I wonder if Palm has considered porting the Android Dalvik VM to WebOS. That would allow the Pre to run Android apps, as well.

  2. mobiquizoid Monday, May 25, 2009

    I believe even WinMo 6.5 can’t support multiple exchange accounts? I wonder if on the Pre this means you can sync multiple exchange calendars specifically?

  3. the android G1 being released in canada has exchange support built in. why? i do not know…

    1. Kevin C. Tofel dean Monday, May 25, 2009

      It’s a carrier customized version and therefore won’t have the “with Google” branding.

  4. GoodThings2Life Monday, May 25, 2009

    No, Windows Mobile doesn’t support multiple accounts (yet), although the fact that the Pre can and using ActiveSync leads me to believe that the upcoming Office 2010 release will bring an updated Outlook Mobile client that does… especially considering a bit of news the Exchange team had commented on their blog recently.

    In any case, that’s very good news about the Pre! Native ActiveSync support is a very, VERY good thing from a business perspective, and as an IT guy, I won’t have any qualms about supporting them.

  5. sururdavids Monday, May 25, 2009

    As of Activesync 4.x, for some unfathomable reason, MSFT has removed
    the possibility to sync one device with two exchange servers, or two
    PC’s connected to excahnge servers. This drive me insane when I bought
    my first WM5 device. But after much googleing, I found a workaround.

    So, to sync two exchange servers, put this in the device’s registry:

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftActiveSyncEnableNonLocalCrossPollina­tion]
    = (DWORD) 1

    This key will most probably be there already, but if it is, its value
    will be 0. If so, change it to 1.

    Soft reset, then, setup activesync ON THE DEVICE (If you try setting up
    on the PC, it will still fail).

    I’m now syncing an Exchange connected PC with with another Exchange
    Server directly – work like a CHARM.

    (thanks to Chris de Herrera for the registry key hint)

    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/microsoft.public.pocketpc.activesync/browse_thread/thread/7e44b0374561f9e3/e25f50cf495e64b8?lnk=st&q=solved+exchange+pocketpc&rnum=3#e25f50cf495e64b8

  6. Jose R. Ortiz Monday, May 25, 2009

    The fact that WinMo does not support multiple Exchange accounts on one device is what drove me to a Symbian based device. Although Nokia’s Mail for Exchange app only supports one Exchange account also, I have the option of also installing DataViz’s RoadSync which I can connect to an additional Exchange account. Currently I am using an E75 with my corp. Exchange account on the Mail for Exchange app and my personal Exchange account on RoadSync. The two work great and do not conflict with one another. The Pre supporting multiple Exchange accounts is great news as it solves a problem that has kept me from other phones.

  7. Now you know why it suppports multiple accounts while the iPhone and WinMo units only support one.

    I actually wish the Pre would have supported the one and only business Exchange account I had. Unfortunately, their implementation lacked the PIN locking and remote wipe functions of EAS.

    It was a sweet device otherwise for the 1 day I had it. Back to BlackBerry.

  8. I think most people wouldn’t care if the Pre supports multiple Exchange accounts.

    In a real business environment, you have security features turned on on the Exchange, and since Palm Pre doesn’t support the security aspects of Exchange, having Active Sync on these devices is useless as centerfold of a magazine with duct tape all over it.

    I think Palm blew it on this one. I am hoping the upcoming update fixes this issue.

  9. Fyi Palms most recent software update for the Pre fixed all of the security issues with exchange. Now business users can take advantage of syncing multiple exchange accounts with the pre.

    1. FYI, you are incorrect. If you have security features turn on on the Exchange, it still does not work. If you disable security on an account, it works fine.

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