Microsoft has Exchange 2010 in a beta form but I haven’t played with it yet. I probably won’t either, since I use Gmail. However, when I had a personal hosted Exchange account, it was a blissful experience with Windows Mobile handsets. Might it get even better with Exchange 2010 and Windows Mobile 6.x? It looks like it, based on this video demonstration video by Adam Glick, Sr. Technical Product Manager of Microsoft’s Unified Messaging team. If you can’t view the video above, here’s an MP4 version. Some highlights:
- Conversation views hit the handheld. In the email preview, a number will appear in parenthesis, indicating how many messages are in the threaded conversation.
- Moving a message to a folder can be turned into a server-side rule. For example, if you move a message thread to a particular folder, any new messages in that thread can automatically be moved to the same folder.
- Voicemails can appear in your Inbox, complete with a transcription and built-in audio player to hear the message.
- View free/busy information for your peers right on their Contact card in Outlook Mobile. Just click the Get Free/Busy button on a contact.
Mobility Site says that SMS messages can also be synchronized with the server, so you’ll have a central place to store and search through short text bursts as well. I see some upcoming features here that I currently enjoy in Google’s Voice and Gmail products.
These days I’m not using a Windows Mobile handset nor an Exchange account, so I may not get to play with the new bits on the WinMo side. Even though over 20 companies license Microsoft Exchange Active Sync, I suspect the nicer mobile features won’t appear on non-Windows Mobile handsets. While there is Exchange support on other mobile platforms, not all of the features are always supported. Tasks come to mind as those not always being supported by EAS licensees, although you can generally count on email, contacts and calendar events.