The iPhone 2.0 Upgrade and Microsoft Exchange
Phil Schiller, Senior VP of World Wide Product Marketing at Apple, spoke about the addition of Microsoft’s technology: “There are a lot of things enterprise customers have told us are holding [the iPhone] back from being really huge in the enterprise. So we’ve been hard at work listening to them, compiling lists, trying to understand, what do they really want to take the iPhone way out into giant numbers across enterprises.”
Schiller went on to list ten items that prospective enterprise customers have requested. These Include “push” email (meaning that the data can be sent automatically from the server), calendars and address books, plus enhanced networking and security, and the ability to remotely wipe an iPhone if it’s lost or stolen.
Schiller continued: “I’m really excited to be the one to tell you today that we’re doing all of these things in the next release of the iPhone software.” Explaining specifically why Microsoft’s Exchange server was selected for integration with the iPhone, Schiller added: “[Enterprise customers] don’t just say ‘Hey I’d like push email and like push calendar’; they’re much more specific than that. What our customers have asked us to do, in large part, is to build in Microsoft Exchange support right into the iPhone... That is a huge request of our customers; it will deploy iPhones in very large numbers across all these enterprises.“
Schiller went on to explain that by also licensing Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology, iPhone enterprise customers will be able to push email and other data without the need of a network operations center and a message server. Saving these two steps will lower both cost and the risk of transmitting data from Microsoft Exchange servers to iPhones.
The iPhone 2.0 upgrade beta will be available immediately to select enterprise customers. Companies interested in beta testing can apply for participation in the beta program at http://www.apple.com/iphone/enterprise/.